1 Timothy 4:12-15 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you … 15 … that your progress may be evident to all.
Paul nearing the end of his life, knowing he had fought the good fight, knew he had to leave disciples behind. He left a charge to Timothy to ‘be a good minister’. A charge to us all.
Be a Minister – We are all called to minister. However, the thing that will rob us is our self-perception – the punch is in Paul’s statement: “Let no one despise your youth …”
Despise = reject, undermine or put down, think little of
When we despise something we give it no value or power to achieve its’ God given purpose. Age, stage of life and many other things people would despise are not dis-qualifiers for the one thing we are all called to do – minister to others.
Youth – don’t say “I’m too young” or “too inexperienced”. Jesus’ disciples were all under 20 (except Peter), some possibly around 14/15 years old. That didn’t stop them!
Older – don’t say “I’m not young any more”, “I’m slowing down”, “my music taste is too old fashion”. Take the years you have and invest them in disciples.
In-between – don’t say “I’m too busy”, “My family and work consume all my time”, “too many expenses”, “there is too much I want to achieve in my career” … just think what you could put that ‘drive’ toward – building His Church, being His representative in your marketplace – be a minister right where you are.
Being young, old, single, married, high expense or low expense base … none of these are obstacles to fulfilling the purpose of God in your life.
A Gentile woman comes to Jesus asking Him to heal her daughter. Jesus says to her you are ‘too Gentile’ – “I’m here for the House of Israel”. She didn’t for one moment let the repeated rejection or obstacle stop her pursuit. She knew all she needed was a crumb of the faith of Jesus – she didn’t need to be experienced, ‘mature’ or in the ‘in crowd’ – just a crumb was enough and her mission to heal would be fulfilled.
Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.
“Go and make disciples” Matthew 28:19