1 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul to his right hand guy, Pastor Timothy. Paul had trained Timothy up and left him in Ephesus to lead the churches there as they struggled through some false doctrine that had infiltrated them. Toward the end of Chapter 1, Paul gives Timothy some sage advice that we need to apply as well. He tells Timothy that he will be able to wage war by the prophecies that were previously made about him. ! Timothy 4:14 fills us in with a few more details, referencing a scene (most likely in his home town of Lystra) where some of the leaders of the church laid hands on him, affirming and confirming his gifts and calling to ministry. Why was this so important for him and for us? Two reasons…

God’s truth about you is more important than others’ opinions about you.

The longer you walk with Jesus and the more you do for Him, the more people will give you their unsolicited advice and opinions. Some will inevitably be positive, but plenty will be negative as well. The critics are often the loudest, and if you let them, they may end up being some of the main voices you listen to. Cling to what God says about you, not what others say about you! Let His voice drown out their noise.

God’s truth about you should overwrite your doubts about yourself.

The more people criticize you, the easier it is to begin letting their opinions permeate your thoughts and cause doubts about your calling and role. Just like we sometimes have to ignore the negative opinions of others, we will often have to ignore our own nagging, negative thoughts as well. Whatever you think about yourself, let God’s truth be your guide and your anchor. His opinion matters more than all the rest – even your own.

You may not have had the same “laying on of hands” experience that Timothy had, but your gifts and your calling are no less present or important.