1Tim 4:12 "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."
Allow me if you will to propose this question. Do today’s adults despise the youth?
Here's my answer. I would say for the most part, yes. The “normal” adult today has little if any respect for youth. Youth being, for the sake of argument, anyone who is of the age of 12-18. I believe also that the youth do not deserve to be respected. We have come so far from anything pure, and gracious that the adults simply shouldn't respect us.
I could list countless times when I have seen this very idea put to action. Not too long ago, I was at Subway. There behind me in line was this mother, her young daughter, and obviously her daughter’s boyfriend. (I say this because he was of different nationality than the other two, and because there was no ring on his finger). The two of them were “teasing” each other and the young girl's mom was in obvious distress about this. She kept hinting at it, and telling them to stop, which they did not do. At times I have been in buildings and see the teens just walk in instead of opening the door for the elderly or for their parents. One time I saw an elderly man at a door with his wheelchair struggling to open the door. As he did this I saw three, yes three young men walk right past him open and door walk in and not even keep it open for him. These are the types of things that I see and it simply saddens me. My generation is falling apart. We have no respect for those in authority, or even just those who are older than us.
It is because of this that I feel we must act. We must take that verse from 1 Timothy and put it to heart. Fully live out the idea that we should be not despised. Rather that we would be respected, and known for things the way Christ commands us to do them.
But, we mustn't take this verse and say that it is simply geared to young men and women being respected by the older generations. No indeed. We must strive to be a mature example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity for God, and earn the respect of adults. We should do all of this for God's glory. As it says in, Exodus 9:16 - “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
“That my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” It states it right there! We must do all these things For God's glory, not for our own glory and fame, and not to make us look good, but rather because we are called to do this by God Himself.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Once again, God shows His awesome mighty power and tells us that we were born for a purpose. In today's youth that purpose has been destroyed. The general public has no idea that this is what we are supposed to be doing. We aren't supposed to be playing video games, reading trashy books, and disobeying our parents. We are supposed to be honoring God, honoring our parents, loving our neighbors and doing God's work!
Now, one might say, “But, I can't do this! I can't go out and teach the nations. I can't help other Christians Strengthen their faith! I'm not strong enough, or good enough!” This simply isn't true people! Take this quote for example from Paul Little in his book Know What You Believe - “If there is no power strong enough to change human nature, then there is no hope for man. But the good news of the gospel is that there IS such a power -- in Christ!”
Fine, I'll give it to you, you are right. You're not strong enough, nor are you wise or good enough, and neither am I. The Bible confirms this to be true. But that's not the point! We have Christ on our side. He will be with us and He will give us the strength, and the wisdom and the power. He will keep us under His wing of protection.
Psalm 16 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Don't you see? It's right there, God will be our refuge and strength. David puts it so well when He says, “I bless the Lord who give me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.” It is so true, God will be with us. If this isn't enough for you what about Psalm 23? We all know this one all too well but do we take the time to see what it is really saying?
Psalm 23 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
I only put in bold the parts that really touched me. Once again David truthfully says, “He restores my soul” And, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. What does this mean? This means that God will truly be there for us, He will not let us down.
That being said, we cannot make excuses. We cannot sit around and do nothing simply because we feel that we don't have the strength; we do have the strength. We have it in Christ.
I pray that what I have said will truly affect you, and that God would be able to touch your heart with these thoughts from God. Surely they have affected me. May God bless you, and thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts!