"Youth is to be with the Creator”
1 Timothy 4: 7-16
Vs. 12 "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".
St. Paul prescribes Timothy, a young leader of the church at Ephesus a number of ways to overcome hurdles and despite his age Timothy was willing to take on the task. Paul advice on leadership apart from the many entrepreneurs and falls advertising we see today. His struggles can resemble ours as youths which we face a great deal of trouble. Paul instructs Timothy to practice holy living only then are we true to what we say and teach others. This is probably one of the hardest tasks youths face, especially today when so much in life entails manipulating or getting away with something so you avoid trouble or embarrassment, but God gives us countless opportunities to prove our loyalty to Him.
Paul also says trouble is inevitable, even when we try to do what’s right: “We work and struggle for this: ‘Our hope is set on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially those who believe’” (v.10). As youths, we’re sometimes living two lives in one; a life that pleases our church community and the other that adjusts outside the four walls of the church. We’re constantly pulled into conversations that gloss over entertainment and gossip but we don’t practice enough talk about Jesus. This is where Paul’s teachings to “practice” and “train” for a holy life are talking to us; if we practice we can succeed at making our spiritual life a mission statement. Paul also says to set the example in “word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and in purity” Sometimes being young has its advantages. For instance, your vigor and enthusiasm for Christ is a powerful thing. It’s so commanding that it becomes hard to ignore, especially for the nonbelievers. People will want to take a second look at you because you sparked their curiosity and it’s a place they’ve never explored, so you could be given an opportunity like this to introduce Christ.
We must know that each of us have an opportunity to minister to others, because each of us have a talent that’s been tested and tried over the years with the help and rigorous instruction of our church elders, teachers and parents.
Whether you’re leading or living, you have to be led by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:18), that way you stop yourself from doing things out of self-interest. But how do we know when we’re led by the Spirit? The only way we know is by bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Lord, we want to be doers of your word and we believe we are born for a time such as this. Help us to live and lead by example, and move us into the life for which we were created. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Whether you’re leading or living, be led by the Holy Spirit.Ansa Varghese, Long Island M T C, NY