The words Paul writes to Timothy (his young protege) are the wise counsel of a seasoned veteran to a young pastor. These are words of wisdom that pastors should be especially attentive to, but they also apply to anyone who is in a position of leadership (like a parent, teacher, coach, or employer).
After challenging Timothy to set an example by his lifestyle, Paul adds these words—
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
“So that everyone may see your progress.” Quite simply: you have to be present … you have to be around people so they can see what’s going on in your life. Your presence in their lives is your present to their lives!
I need to monitor what I’m doing and why I’m doing it; what I’m teaching and how I’m teaching; what I believe and why I believe it.
I need to have goals and benchmarks. I need to make my goals—and my successes and failures in hitting my goals—known to others.
I need to be in it for the long haul. It’s awfully difficult to an example in the present if my eyes and thoughts are always on “the next thing” down the road.
Look at the blessings—the presents—of living this way: You will save both yourself and your hearers.
Not only is my presence a present to others, but having others present in my life is a present to me! The present of presence works both ways!
Are you living so that everyone may see your progress? If not, start giving the present of your presence today!