Have you ever felt limited because of your age? When we’re little, we’re not really allowed to do what we want. This was often for good reason. For example, I remember my mum wouldn’t let me wear high heels when I asked at 7 years old. It wasn’t because she had anything against me, but actually I was a pretty clumsy kid and would probably trip over! I’m older now and allowed to wear heels (although to be honest, they were more fun an idea in my head than how they feel on my feet).
However I now have bigger ambitions and dreams I want to fulfil. I’m passionate about protecting our beautiful planet and putting an end to poverty. But I find it’s not my parents that are deterring me from chasing after these aspirations now, but fear of what the world thinks. Maybe you can relate to me on that one too. Being passionate about a cause and full of ideas, but held back for fear of them falling on their face. Getting caught up in thinking; maybe I am too inexperienced, too naive, or too young to make a difference?
What are you waiting for?
However, that’s not what the Bible tells us. One verse that never fails to inspire me when asking these questions is: ‘Don’t let anyone look down on your because you’re young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’ (1 Timothy 4:12). The apostle Paul is writing to Timothy, a much younger believer. Timothy has a heart for Jesus but maybe, like us at times, he was worried the message he was trying to spread would be overlooked because of his age.
Perhaps Timothy felt too insignificant to make a difference. But Paul’s advice to him wasn’t as expected. He didn’t tell Timothy to wait until he was an older, more respected figure in his community. Instead he simply said to show the love of Christ in all that he did. I think this message is incredible! He tells Timothy to take his everyday ordinary life, right then and there in his youth, and use it to glorify God.
No experience required
Paul had the right idea. After all it was the same idea Jesus had when he called him to be one of his disciples. Jesus didn’t call together a group of the eldest, most experienced, educated and respected. When he set out his mission to change this world forever, he opted to take a group of 12 teenagers and young adults as his disciples.
Jesus didn’t look for who society would’ve deemed the most “qualified”. Jesus looked for those willing to simply follow him. And there’s no age limit on that. While the world may write off young people as under-qualified, in the eyes of our heavenly father everyone is under-qualified. Although we might be imperfect, we’re never disqualified. Like the disciples, we need to be ready and be willing to follow Jesus with our lives.
Notice something else in how Jesus called people. He not only called together young people, but a group of young people. He knew that every individual would bring unique gifts and talents that would make them stronger and more equipped together. It’s a message I’ve found empowering when trying to make a difference. So get together a group of young people who are passionate about ending poverty and injustice. Together you can commit your lives to glorify God and see the power of a generation coming together.
For through God, all is possible.
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