I Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”.
Introduction: Today we are continuing on this series regarding being an example of the believer- from I Timothy 4:2, where Paul told Timothy “be thou an example”. An example is a patter, a model, someone to imitate. In this example, we are looking at a person that is an example to others by the way that he exercises charity- love in action, Godly love.
The greatest chapter in the Bible regarding charity is I Corinthians 13. In verses 4-7, we see the examples that we should be following in Charity. We find the way a person is to live among and with others. We are to love others and this is what loving others means. In 3 John 6 “which have borne witness of thy charity before the church”. Someone is always watching and the truth of the matter is that saved and lost alike are looking to see what we do, we are a “witness of thy charity”. Charity is defined as- Godly love in action.
We are an example of the believers in charity, when we:
I. Suffer Long with Others- Vs 4 “Charity suffereth long”. This means being patient with people regardless of the situation.
- No matter the evil or injury done by a person.
- No matter the neglect or ignoring by a loved one
- When we can suffer long with people regardless of these conditions, we are proving our charity in suffering long. Without resentment, anger, revenge, etc.
- Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith”. Being longsuffering with others comes from the Spirit of God, it is supernatural. This requires loving the person so much, that we are willing to put up with all kinds of things.
II. Are Kind to Others- Vs 4 Charity “is kind”. To be kind is to be good, helpful, useful, giving, courteous. It’s easy to be kind to the kind however, the highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.
- Luke 6:35 “for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil”.
- Not only to those that are unkind to us but even those that are kind with us, notice:
- Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. We are commanded to be kind one to another and when we are, we actually prefer one another.
III. Don’t Envy Others- Vs 4 Charity “envieth not”. Envy is resentment against another’s success. To be jelous of another because of what they have such as gifts, position, friends, recognition, possessions, popularity, abilities, etc.
- Instead, the opposite is true, Charity doesn’t diminish someone’s successes or abilities. Charity shares and rejoices in others.
- Galatians 5:19-21 envying is a work of the flesh.
- Psalm 73:3 “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked”.
- Psalm 73:17-20 the Psalmist got a right view from God’s perspective regarding envying others- which wasn’t a good thing.
- If we are to be an example- don’t envy the vehicles others drive, the houses they live in, the vacations they take, the fun they’re having, etc.
- It will waste you away to envy- Proverbs 14:30 “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones”.
IV. Don’t Boast to Others- Vs 4 Charity “vaunteth not itself”. To vaunt is to vainly display one’s own worth or accomplishments.
- To do this is not Christ like in any sense. This is something the world loves to do and is actually expected of them, to compete for the better stuff.
- To be boastful, bragging, seek recognition.
- Romans 12:3 “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think”.
- Philippians 2:3 “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory”.
V. Are not Puffed up among Others- Vs 4 Charity “is not puffed up”. Inflated with vanity or pride. Arrogant or conceited.
- When a person is puffed up, he doesn’t care what others think, only thinks of himself.
- In contrast, Charity is not puffed up, it is modest, humble, recognizes others.
- Luke 14:7-11. Vs 10 “But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room”. This is the person that has charity and is an example of the believer in charity. He thinks about others and not about himself, he doesn’t think that he deserves to sit in the front.
Conclusion: If we are to be an example of the believer in charity, consider the things we just talked about. All of these are contrary to the world. People are not longsuffering with others, they’re not kind, they envy what others have, they boast about anything and everything, and are puffed up about many things, especially if it involves a place of authority or notoriety. If we want to be a good example in charity consider I Corinthians 13:4-7.