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1 Timothy 4:12 (Pt. 3)  Thought/Prayer:  Youth’s Big Order.  Topics:  2 at end.

“Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.”  WEB (Read this scripture and more at

It’s a big order, seemingly, this urging, this earnest recommendation to youth, via one youth, Timothy who Paul considered to be his son.  The first part is, of course, about other people in Timothy’s life – and that he is not to allow them to discourage him because he is young.

But the rest of these words are action words meant for those young people.  They are to be examples.  Examples in six areas!  As I said, it’s a big order.  Could any adult do all of this, even with years of experience as a Christian?  Most adults of many ages, if honest, would say that there are still lots of improvements to be made in these areas in their lives. 

So why so much to youth here?  They are not to allow discouragement.  But all of these things in which to be examples . . . could this in itself not be discouraging?  Yes, it could.  It could, if taken to mean that all of these areas of service and lifestyle are to magically poof into their lives.  But, of course, that is not the way it works.  Faith, purity, way of life ...?  All of these take dedication and practice!  Don’t they?

They do.  But in light of the conversation here against discouragement, perhaps here is how we could look at this admonition as doable.  Paul is wanting to both encourage youth themselves here (and their place in the Lord’s work) (and Timothy in particular) and their lifestyle.  Perhaps we could see it as wanting them to push forward with confidence and to address these issues of development positively.  No, they are not to step into perfection because they are youth or because of any other course of action.  These areas of life will be important to them, and they will be working on them all their lives.  They will, without discouragement, come into these areas as they are called and led by God. 

Lord, help us to remember that youth are special to you, as evidenced by Paul’s comments to Timothy who was so dedicated to You, to Paul, and to Your work through Paul.  May we never discourage the youth in our lives, whether they are Christian or not.  May we spur them on to great things in You, or in life, and perhaps see some of them come to realize the importance of Your created LIFE and to go for their stance with the enthusiasm of youth.

Topics:  Pray for the youth you know and that they will know the Lord Jesus as Savior and that most or all of them will come to see the importance of standing for LIFE.
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Posted by Gail Richardson on 06/23 at 06:04 PM
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