1 Timothy 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.
Today I want to talk to the young and to the youth, though the Bible does not discriminates in Young and Old it does gives wisdom to how one should be when Young, in middle age and when Old.
So 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth”
Timothy was now a young man; some think he was about three and twenty years of age, so I believe somewhere in early twenty’s.
Young men are sometimes honoured by God with great gifts, for usefulness both in church and state, as Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel, and his companions……I believe many of us had this privilege including myself in some or the other field where you were chosen over other competitors.
St. Paul explains – Timothy, being in office, should not suffer any man to use him contemptuously; but exert his power and authority, and magnify his office, and not allow men to trample upon him, or use him ill, though he was a young man.
Is there anything more wonderful than being young, full of energy and strength, experiencing the excitement of first discoveries?
What Does it Mean To “Despise Your Youth”
St. Paul was saying is that Timothy should behave in such a way that no one could reasonably despise his youth. He was to act with greater maturity, with greater wisdom, actively exercising the Holy Spirit he had received through the laying on of hands. He was to be a teacher. As such, it was unacceptable for him to use his youth as a time to spend focused on seeking his own pleasures.
Being young is not a license to act stupidly or experiment with destructive behaviors.
All of us make bad choices and decisions—spiritually mature adults included. But often when we are young, our spiritual inexperience and desire to be accepted by our peers makes us more vulnerable. The world around us shows youth and beauty as a license for profligacy, where nothing is to be denied. It affects us physically through the food and drink we consume to excess.
Let nobody “Despise Your Youth” means to think down upon and so to despise, scorn, hold in contempt, not care for because it is thought to be without value. Let nobody “think little of”. Let Nobody look down on you, the idea is to make someone or something with contempt or aversion, with the implication that one considers the object of little value or as unworthy of one’s notice or consideration.
You are made in Gods Image and Likeness Let Nobody think of you as unworthy.
Like Timothy, we also should set an example of godliness within our sphere of influence, which is at the very least our local congregations, our families and our circle of friends. What a tall order! To walk against the tide of society to be an example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity—not easy stuff.
We should be good examples in our actions and behavior. We are to be aware of how we speak to others and represent God with our words.
Our choice of friends can be especially important when we are young, as we experience more independence from our families at school and work. Our group of friends can have a tremendous influence on us, and we them. But we always have to be conscious of the direction and weight of that influence and make decisions, however difficult, according to where we are headed and where we want to be.
Be a Timothy, or a Daniel, if you can. But if it’s too late for that, then be like the prodigal son, or King David, who after making huge mistakes turned to God for forgiveness instead of justifying them further!
St. Paul’s point is that as Christians, we have not simply changed our minds. We have totally changed our citizenship. We belong to God’s “new creation” in Christ, and therefore, do not let anybody look down upon you, don’t let anybody despise you of your youth. You are not less than anybody and don’t let the ideas and desires of others control your lives.