Let No One Despise You For Your Youth
Read: 2 Chronicles 34:1, 1 Timothy 4:12
Louis Braille invented the Braille language for people who are blind at age 15. In 1955 during the Civil Rights Movement Claudette Colvin age 15 refused to give up her seat on a bus and was arrested 9 months before Rosa Parks. Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and won the Nobel Prize in 2014 at age 17.
Pretty impressive right? There are many other young adults who have influenced their culture and even the world through their actions and accomplishments. They saw a need, a tough situation, an injustice, a broken system and instead of saying “If only I was older I could make a difference” or “If only I had more influence I could change the way things are” or “I’m just a kid from Wayne County Ohio”…… ok maybe they’re not from Wayne county but nevertheless they didn’t let their age stop them from making a difference. They didn’t shy away from their given challenges because of their age, gender, religion, or background.
1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Paul is writing to his protégé Timothy who was leading the church at Ephesus and instead of asking Timothy to take a back seat to another leader who was older or had more influence, knew more scripture, had a better résumé, was better looking, made the varsity team, or sat at the “cool kids” lunch table (or whatever the equivalent was back in biblical times). He says Tim you step up to the plate! Don’t worry about the haters and teach people with how you do life!
That’s a good word and an encouragement that I’m sure lit a fire under Timothy and I hope lights a fire in you as well. Truth is that God isn’t too worried about your age, he used a boy to kill a giant (David), an 8 year old king to turn a nation back to God (Josiah), a young virgin to bring Jesus into the world (Mary), and one little boy’s lunch to feed over 5,000 people. God is much more concerned with your heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
So with that being said are you the influencer or the one being influenced in your school?
What’s holding you back from living an exemplary life like the one Paul laid out for Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12?
Ask God to show you what lies you have believed about your ability as a young adult leader and to give you the boldness to live an extemporary life not phased by the qualifications that this world gives us.