When I grew up, which wasn’t all too long ago, children were meant to be seen and not heard — especially in the church. When we were seen, it was supposed to be with behavior that was almost robotic; stepford-like. That’s just the way it was. We learned bible stories every Sunday at church, but that’s about it. I was in my 20s when I first read 1 Timothy 4:12, and I wonder why that verse was kept from me? Shouldn’t it be one of the very first verses a child learns?
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NIV
I believe wholeheartedly that God did not put an age limit on being influential to others. One thing my husband and I stress to our kids is that they are leaders. We also make sure they know this scripture. We don’t want them to just memorize it. We want them to understand its meaning. We don’t want them to think that being young is unimportant to God.
You are not limited by your age. You can be a leader now, and you may find that you have already been a leader in some areas. Don’t let ANYONE look down on you because of your age. Jesus was preaching in the temple at 12! Now, I know you’re probably thinking Well, that was Jesus. He’s different. I’ll give you that one, but what about Joseph?
In Genesis 37, we learn that Joseph was 17 years old. He was still a teenager, and he had a dream. It wasn’t just any dream. This dream was a word from God. God did not pass him up because he was young.
Not only was Joseph young, but he came from a dysfunctional family. His family was so dysfunctional that his brothers were going to kill him and tell their father that he was attacked by an animal! Instead, they decided to sell him as a slave and still tell the same story. Joseph had a messed up family and was still in his teens, but God didn’t let either of those things influence him in his decision to use him. Although Joseph went through years of trials, God blessed him in every one of them, and by the end, he was a man of great influence and prestige.
I will stress again that you are no different. Rise up, daughter of the King of Kings, and set an example for other believers in the way you speak to those around you and about those around you, in your actions, in your faith in Jesus, and please, sweet daughter, set an example in your purity. You don’t even have to push people toward God. Just in your actions and speech alone, you are an influential person, and you will find that people want to know how to have what you have.
Forget about whether or not you’ve made bad decisions in your past. Forget about the hurt and pain others have caused you. Forget about the horrible things that may have happened to you. Forget about the number of years you’ve been here on earth. God can still use you and wants to use you.
Set a goal this week to become the person in 1 Timothy 4:12. Pay attention to your words and actions. If you feel impure for the things you’ve done or the things that may have been done to you, release those things to God. Start anew today, and God will use you if you allow him. Anyone with any background, ethnicity, age, gender can be used. Let him use you.
If you release your fears and allow him to use you, be ready for some great blessings. If you want to share how God has used you, please feel free by commenting here or sending me a personal message. firstname.lastname@example.org I love hearing stories of how people have been used to do God’s work. Have fun with it.