Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 to be an example in front of other “believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
There were those who had become new to the faith that needed direction and an example to follow. Timothy was to be an example in what he said, how he acted, how he loved, how he believed and how he lived morally.
It is still true today. Children are not born with an instinct to always do what is right – they need to be taught and, more importantly, they need to be shown by example.
Those who have decided to follow Jesus as new believers still need to be taught how to live the Christian life through scripture.
But also they are watching believers who are mature in their faith for direction. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to live exemplary lives before others.
If you are a Christian, a huge question is: Would others know it by observing your life? As I heard someone else put it, If Christianity became illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict you?