Setting an Example


"We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." -1 Timothy 4:10-12 (NIV)


January 16, 2004, is a date that may have significantly impacted the sports world for many years to come. Two 14-year-old athletes made a big splash in their respective sports. Michelle Wie played in the Sony Open on the PGA tour and missed the cut by one stroke, tying two men who had won major championships the previous year. Freddy Adu, in a move that shocked no one, was chosen as the top pick in the Major League Soccer draft by D.C. United.

While Michelle Wie and Freddy Adu will be competing with and against athletes twice their age—and some old enough to be their parents—they can still make an impact by the example they set. I believe that this is what leading those who are above you is primarily about. For example, when Adu was given the number 9 on his jersey, he responded by saying, “I would rather have number 11, but you can’t always get what you want. You have to earn it.”

It would have been easy for the 14-year-old phenom to whine and complain about not getting his number. Doing so, I believe, would have stripped any credibility and influence that Adu has with his coaches, teammates and fans. Instead, he set an example that reveals a desire to work hard and be a team player.

Whether you are young in age or young at heart, people are watching you to see how you live, not how you say you live. What kind of example are you going to set for them?


1. What kind of example are you setting for others on your team?
2. Of the five areas that Paul talks about (speech, life, love, faith and purity), which area of your life needs the most improvement?
3. What can you do specifically to improve in this area?


Psalms 103:5; 119:9; Ecclesiastes 12:1; 2 Timothy 2:22


God, just as it reads in 1 Timothy 4:12, I want to be an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Please do a supernatural work in my life so that each day, as I spend time with You in the Word, I will get a little closer to this goal. In Your name I pray, amen.

Bible Reference: 
2 Timothy 2