Paul continues to emphasize to Timothy the non-negotiable value of sound teaching always being matched with mature character. Despite what culture thought in Ephesus or even today in America, mature character isn’t ultimately marked by age or talent, it is seen in immersing ourselves in the progress of becoming more like Jesus. As we become more like Jesus, stewarding our gifts to serve others, we get to have the unfathomable privilege of joining God in His work in the world.
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.