12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
despise (v.12) = contempt displayed by harmful action — active, not a mere feeling — tense indicates forbidding an action already occurring
youth (v.12) — Timothy was at least 30 and perhaps as old as 40, but still younger than most ministers and then the elders in his church
be (v.12) = keep on becoming — so … Don’t allow anyone to continue pushing you aside. Rather, keep on becoming and example by …
example (v.12) = type, example to be imitated, pattern
word (v.12) — speech
conduct (v.12) — translated elsewhere as “behavior,” “life,” “living”
love (v.12) = agape — sacrifice for the benefit of others
in spirit (v.12) — not in the original manuscripts
purity (v.12) — of motive as well as action
give attention (v.13) — give heed, attach oneself to, apply oneself to, cleave to
reading (v.13) — public reading of Scripture
exhortation (v.13) = encouragement — urge to adopt a certain course of conduct
doctrine (v.13) = teaching
What Paul was probably referring to was the nature of public ministry — reading Scripture, encouraging good conduct and teaching sound doctrine — although a minister should also attend to these things in his own life.