“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
To some, we are kids: foolish, reckless, unsteady.
But that’s not what we are. Don’t let them say that.
Are we sinners? Yes. (But this has nothing to do with age, and we can’t forget that.)
Yes, we are most definitely sinners. I think we’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who is not. But do you know what else we are? We are example-setters.
Young ones—you are called to this, and you must not let yourself be characterized by anything less. We are to set an example for all those who follow Jesus—whether young or old. The way we talk, the way we act, the way we treat one another, the way we follow Jesus, the way we guard against anything that dishonors God—we do these things in our youth, and if we are faithful, we will still be doing them as the skin around our eyes begins to crinkle and our joints begin to creak.
We will not neglect the gifts we have (1 Timothy 4:14), but instead will practice them, immerse ourselves in them (v. 15), keeping a close watch on ourselves and on the scriptures (v. 16), ready to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15).
Young ones—if you write, write for the glory of God no matter who prefers that you would shut up. If you speak, speak for the glory of God no matter who prefers your silence. You are not too young to do these things—not if you are seeking the Lord’s wisdom rather than your own.
Does Jesus’ blood not cover the sins of youth as well as the sins of the elderly? Does God’s voice not speak just as loudly to young ears as to the ears of the old? Does the Holy Spirit not dwell just as fully inside young hearts as in the hearts of the old?
God has always had a soft spot for youth: He told the little children to come, said that the kingdom of heaven belonged to them. He built his church and changed the world with a troupe of men who were probably in their twenties. He sent his son through the womb of a teenage mother, and he saved the world through the death and resurrection of 33-year-old Jesus.
Young ones—do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. You ARE the church, not just attenders of the church. People say you are the next generation, but you are THIS generation. Your time is now, not later. Your kind fills the scriptures, and Jesus fills your hearts. You are called to set an example, and this is fully within your God-given capability. Show us how to live for Him. We need you.