Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
In 2012, Laura Dekker became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. Sailing by herself, she completed this one and one-half year journey at the age of 16. I’m not sure about you, but to me the idea of traveling across the entire planet by yourself at any age is impressive. Laura’s trip is just one example of the incredible potential locked inside of young people. As we focus our prayers this week on our family, lets specifically pray for the many ways that God wants to work both in and through children and teenagers in our faith family.
1 Timothy 4:12 contains Paul’s specific instructions to his “son in the faith,” Timothy. As a young pastor, we can speculate that Timothy gladly received his words. To those who are not “youth:” We need people to come alongside those we would consider “youth” and encourage them in their opportunity to make an impact for the Kingdom. To those who are “youth:” notice how you can make a mark. Oftentimes, we think that those making the biggest difference are the ones who are the charismatic-on the screen-kind of people. But the calling here is much different than having an up-front leadership kind of role. The calling is to “set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”
This can speak to both youth and adults: who are we when we don’t have “the position” or the “perceived influence?” Do we believe in God’s calling to live a life pleasing to him? Notice the completeness of the example that can be set for others (speech, conduct, love, faith, purity). Are we surrendering to the Lord all of our lives for his glory?
Pray today for young people. Pray for their boldness to set an example for other believers in their speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Pray that they would see the potential to have a kingdom impact in our church and beyond. Pray that all of us would surrender our lives completely to Christ.
By Joel Shinpoch