August 2, 2013
READ: 1 Timothy 4:12-16
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 (v.12).
In 2005, two teenagers started TheRebelution.com website to encourage fellow young people to exceed low expectations and to do “hard things”. Citing 1 Timothy 4:12, one of its founders said, “As young people we are called to be exemplary in all areas of life. [But] our generation is falling incredibly short of that calling. Instead of serving as the launching pad of life, the teen years are seen as a vacation from responsibility.”
Many teenagers have grown up to become what is known in Taiwan as the cao mei zu (Strawberry Generation)—they look good on the outside, but are easily bruised. In America, they’re known as “kidults”.
Each generation needs to heed the call of Paul, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young” (v.12). Being young isn’t an excuse for shirking responsibility or not giving God your very best. Instead, if you’re young, you can be an example to all of us. Not everyone will like you. Some may even jeer at you or call you names. But you will inspire all believers to stay true to God amid a culture that resists Him.
Paul stated five areas in which we’re to be exemplary: speech, lifestyle, love, faith and purity. Is our speech marked by grace and truth? Do our priorities and behaviour testify to our commitment to Jesus Christ? Are we self-satisfying or self-sacrificing? Do we exhibit faith in God as we face challenges? Do we fulfil the desires of our flesh or are we morally pure—not just outwardly but also in our thought-life?
If you’re young, choose to rise above low expectations. And may all believers, regardless of age, follow God in obedience, pursue godly character and build momentum for an amazing future! —Poh Fang Chia
Luke 11:1-13 ‹
Read 1 Samuel 17:32-37 and see how one young person set a positive example in both his faith and speech.
How have you been growing in spiritual maturity? What mindset, attitude or behaviour do you need to change so that you can be an example to other believers?