Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

Paul said this because Timothy’s age was the one thing most likely to hinder him in ministry. Chances are that it was more of a stumbling block to Timothy than to anyone else.

Regardless, it was an obstacle that could be easily overcome with action. Being the man you’re supposed to be, Paul was saying, will trump whatever limitations you have.

If Paul were writing to you today, how would he finish this verse? “Don’t let anyone look down on you because …”

Because what? Because you’re old? Because you’re different? Because of your race or gender? Because you have a past? Because you’re less than perfect?

What things, real or imaginary, stand between you and your ability to be the leader God has called you to be?

Put them aside. Focus instead on being who you are. Focus instead, today specifically, on being an example for others.

In spite of your limitations, you can show others how it’s done.

As The Message phrases this verse…

Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.