Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thursday March 12, 2015 1 Timothy 4:12

Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."
1 Timothy 4:12, NLT

Taken out of context, this verse requires a little decoding.  Our American culture puts more emphasis on youth than maybe anyone ever in history; however, even in biblical times, youth and physical strength would have had their advantages.  Why did the apostle Paul warn this younger believer, Timothy, about the traps set before young people?

In biblical times, children were viewed as property, and for a religious leader such as Jesus to include them in his entourage must have indicated to the crowds that society was all backwards. "For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children" (Luke 18:16 c, NLT).  Returning to the dependency and simplicity of childhood is not only a good thing; it is the best thing.

Paul knew the same judgment would continue to fall on young believers; however, he charged young people with being role models for others.  In other words, do not slack off because you do not have the same responsibilities as your parents and teachers.  Use your gifts for the Kingdom of God and do not let anyone underestimate your potential, your intuition and your spirituality, Paul says.

In some ways, our society still equates youth with naivety.  Well-meaning coworkers of mine have said things about how I am young and have not yet known loss, or I am young and cannot understand social conflict.  While such experiences will increase in clarity over the years, this does not diminish my responsibility to set an example before others.  As Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."--Tim Getz

Prayer for today: Great God of all, help us to use whatever opportunities You give us to increase your Kingdom, no matter our age. We are grateful that You have no favorites, as scripture tells us, and we ask that You would  equip us by Your Spirit to do whatever You call us to do, when You call us to do it. In the name of Jesus we pray. AMEN!

Confession for today: I confess that no matter my age, old, young or in  between, I can be used by God to help build His Kingdom. I can confidently use whatever gifts He has given me for His glory. I declare this by faith in Jesus. AMEN!


Tracy said...

And Jesus dials it back further and with stronger implication: Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭3‬ NLT)

Marilyn McCarter said...

I like your insight into this passage. And the message is relevant to everyone. Speaking from closer to the other end of the age spectrum I think too many people put a label on others or on themselves, thinking that they are too young or too old or too new to the church or too long in the church... everyone has gifts an should be an example to all believers.