1 Timothy 4:11-16
11 Command those things. Teach them. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live. Also set an example in how you love and in what you believe. Show the believers how to be pure. 13 Until I come, spend your time reading Scripture out loud to one another. Spend your time preaching and teaching. 14 Don’t fail to use the gift the Holy Spirit gave you. He gave it to you through a message from God. It was given when the elders placed their hands on you. 15 Keep on doing those things. Give them your complete attention. Then everyone will see how you are coming along. 16 Be careful of how you live and what you believe. Never give up. Then you will save yourself and those who hear you.
Here is a passage of Scripture that is both encouraging and challenging to young people. Firstly, Paul clearly tells all Christians not to discount a believer because of their young age. In fact, the youth are called to step up and be an example to all in the following areas; speech, conduct, faith, love and purity. A big ask for anyone really! Paul believes in youth!
I love clear instructions and Paul leaves some pretty clear guidelines to anyone – young or old who wants to live an exemplary Christian life. The first step is not to neglect your gifting but rather devote yourself to developing it. In Timothy’s case he was a gifted teacher so Paul encouraged him to read the Scriptures publically, and to teach and preach. He then tells Timothy to be diligent and persevere in what God has called him to do. It’s the diligence and perseverance that causes us to move forward in our faith. Most, if not all of us know this on an intellectual level. We just need the encouragement to keep going, Timothy was no different.
This passage ends with a warning to watch your life and your doctrine closely. Know what you believe and live your life with conviction.
Dear Lord, please help me to be a good example to other believers and give me the strength and willingness to develop the gifts you have given me for the advancement of your Kingdom, Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods