“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”
I Timothy 4:15
Paul’s advice to his beloved son in the faith provides counsel equally beneficial to us. Apparently, Timothy had some struggles with feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, which most of us can identify with. In a few verses prior to our text, Paul said, “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers” (I Timothy 4:12). We can assume that Paul wrote these words to help Timothy, either because he was being looked down upon because of his youthfulness, or maybe because Timothy feared that it might happen. He follows with words admonishing Timothy to “give attendance” to the Word of God, both in reading and teaching (I Timothy 4:13). Paul then reminds Timothy that God had gifted and equipped him for the ministry (I Timothy 4:14).
Then we come to the words of our text. If Timothy would “meditate upon these things” and give himself “wholly to them,” then his profiting would “appear to all.” The word “profiting” refers to his spiritual advancement or progress. If Timothy would give himself to being the right kind of example, studying and preaching the Word, and using the gifts that God gave him, it would become obvious to others that God had His hand on the young man of God. We can be certain these principles can apply to our lives as well, and will produce the same results.
We need to give ourselves “wholly” to the principles of God’s Word. The obvious implication is that it is possible not to give ourselves “wholly” to these matters. The word “wholly” means “completely or fully, not casually or complacently.” If we want to see consistent spiritual growth and advancement, we must take these matters seriously. We should “meditate,” devoting time to thinking through and personalizing the commands and promises of Scripture. Too often we fail to hide God’s truth in our hearts. The more we meditate on God’s Word, and His promises to equip us to do His will, the more faith will fill our hearts that we can serve Him ably.
The answer to feelings of inadequacy or inferiority is not to quit, be intimidated, or promote ourselves in fleshly energy. The answer is to give ourselves wholly to the things of God. As we do so, it will be evident to us, as well as to others, that God is working in our lives.