Go For It! { Day 8 }

READ: 1 Timothy 4:6-16

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” { 1 Timothy 4:6-8 }

Here in America, there’s a massive obsession with appearances. There is no shortage of diet plans, gyms, nutrition guides, supplements, trainers, and coaches. Even plastic surgeons are starting to pop up on every corner like Starbucks. For some, the goal is health. For others, the goal is image. When all is said and done, our bodies are buried but our legacy lives on.

In a world where training of any kind is at our fingertips, scripture tells us to train ourselves to be godly. The message says, “Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please!”

I don’t particularly love working out, but I do it anyways. I hate walking into the gym and feeling inferior to all the sculpted people lifting some serious weight. They all know what they are doing, so I watch from a distance to see how they use the machines before I walk over and read the instructions as I fumble through “trying to get it right.” Rather than asking a trainer or someone who’s very familiar with it to help me, I just try to figure it out for myself.

Our spiritual lives can be like that too. We can become overwhelmingly intimidated by what we think we don’t know, so we just sit back and watch others do what we wished were capable of. That’s why I love these words that Paul so boldly wrote to Timothy- words from a mentor:

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.” { 1 Timothy 4:9-11 }

You see, Timothy’s gift was teaching and Paul’s instruction: use that gift with all your might. Paul was coaching Timothy how to exercise his faith within his giftings. We all have abilities, talents and spiritual gifts locked within us for the sake of sharing the gospel.

Our gifts aren’t to make us look better, they are to make Jesus known. Click To Tweet

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” { 1 Timothy 4:12-16 }

As a mom, I can attest to the fact that I can give my kids multiple instructions and they very rarely listen the first time, but anytime I start a sentence with the word don’t, their ears perk up and I have their attention.

Don’t take food upstairs.

Don’t touch that candle.

Don’t call your sister names.

It’s as if they know I’m serious when I whip out the don’ts. Paul’s tone changed as he did the same thing in this passage. There are two don’ts in the above passage: Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young and Don’t neglect the spiritual gift you received. Ok Paul, you have our attention.

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.

At this point, he was serving in the church of Ephesus and many scholars put Timothy at around age 40 when this was written to him. Great news for us, ladies! In these ancient times, the term “young” applied up until age forty.

At every age, we have something to offer. Every. Age. Our gifts grow with us and godliness does too. Although Timothy’s gift was teaching, the commission Paul gave him remains for all of us: focus on the scripture, encourage and teach. I’m sure you’re familiar with the idiom, experience is the best teacher. If that is true, what message is our life teaching? We don’t have to have all the answers nor are we the answer to a question anyone is asking. The best way to win people is to invite them in: extend love, kindness, grace. Share wisdom and hope. Lean into our convictions and lead with strength, humility, and passion. There is no age limit on that.

Don’t neglect the spiritual gift you received.

Chuck Swindoll says, Healthy ministry doesn’t just happen. Plan well, communicate those plans and then follow through on them.” This faith thing ain’t for sissies! It will call you out and make you put your money where your mouth is. So whether we are building character, building dreams or building gifts…consistency is key.

We can sum this entire stretch of scripture up in three words: GO FOR IT! Can we give God all we have today? No matter if we’re “spiritually fit” or in need of a trainer. If we’re old or young, we can use what we having knowing that the gift isn’t the goal. Jesus is the goal.

REFLECT:

  • What are your gifts? Take some time to read through Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 and list out the spiritual gifts you feel you have.
  • How are you using them to make Jesus known? Ask God to show you any gifts you may not know you have and give you creativity to use them.
  • Timothy had Paul and Paul had Timothy. Do you have a mentor to help guide you as you follow Jesus? Is there someone in your life you are cheering on in their walk with the Lord? If not, these are relationships that God will bless us with when we ask. Spend time in prayer, asking God to align some Godly relationships that will help you flourish.

PRAYER:

Lord, thank you that you give us gifts that empower us to share the gospel. Will you show us how to be more effective in sharing your love? Give us the confidence we need to step out of our comfort zone and serve you in new ways and grant us wisdom where we have none. We trust you to put people on our path to speak life into and also those to speak life into us. You are our provider and we rest in that. 

Kristin Bonin
Kristin Bonin
Hello! I’m Kristin Bonin: wife, mom, friend, speaker and writer. My name means “follower of Christ” and that’s pretty much who I am. Aside from being a sweet tea drinkin’, front porch sittin’, warm weather lovin’, southern girl (yes, we really do leave the “g’s” off at the end of words), I am also highly skilled at driving my kids to their extra-curricular activities, warming up pre-made food and asking Siri for help with homework. In the middle of my crazy, I somehow manage to find my Jesus and have learned to chase after Him while I’m also chasing the kids. I am a mom of girls and wife to my husband Chris, who is an avid runner and pun master. If time wasn’t a factor, I could read all day long and I am particularly fond of the Bible. Studying it and applying it is my heart and joy. You can find more about me at kristinbonin.com.

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