1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
Being young can feel like a detriment. Youths are generally energetic and enthusiastic, but their inexperience often leads to assumptions that they are not as competent as those who are older. This may be true in certain areas, but a young person’s good character will show itself by careful action and attitude.
Timothy was a young man who had been given significant responsibility. Paul left him in Ephesus to instruct and lead the church there. Because of his youth some were not giving him the respect he was due, but Paul told Timothy not to worry about this. Instead he encouraged him to prove himself by his actions and his attitude. His speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity would speak louder than words and would give a good example to others, even those older than he. By living this way he would spur others to take inventory of their own lives.
Recently Dad and I took a trip to Pittsburgh to visit longtime friends. On the way numerous billboards that advertised stores selling “adult entertainment” sickened me. The Lion’s Den and gentlemen’s clubs pictured used code words that meant “don’t let your children know you are going here.” How could it be that those who are supposedly mature and wise should visit these horrible places? They are not fit for adults or youths!
Never underestimate the power of your life. No matter how young you are, you can be an example to many who are not living God’s way. Let your speech be seasoned as with salt. Do not let unwholesome words escape your lips. Be careful what activities you choose to become involved in. Let your conduct be pleasing to the Lord. Actively demonstrate your love for others. Don’t put yourself in the top position, but think of others more highly than yourself. Seek to know God more and more – the more you know Him the more your faith in Him will grow. Seek to remain pure in body and in mind. Stay away from unwholesome entertainment. Fill your mind with only those things that are good and true.
There are many adults who are not living the way they should. Do not let them look down on your youth. Instead point them to Jesus by your actions and attitudes. You will personally be blessed, but you will also be an example to all those around you no matter how old or young you are.