Summary: What the millennial youth go through in today's current world and how adults should encourage them to stay faithful as Timothy did.
The Youth: On the Path to Good, Or the Path to Evil! By Kelly Durant 3-15-15
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2. They say you got to be young and dumb before you get old and wise; I think we should be careful with this mentality because wisdom is there for the young or old! Some youth are wiser than old fools! Some young people are very capable of being strong leaders and God throughout history has often chose young people to lead. I think more young ones could rise to be leaders but sometimes the ones stopping them from a great mission in life are the old ones who doubt their abilities and familiarity is an enemy!
Consider a few young leaders called by God in the Bible. Samuel was called by God as a child answering to God’s voice in the night. David was possibly 14 when he killed Goliath and then became the King’s assistant. Daniel was taken as a slave when young and was honored as a leader not long afterwards standing firm in his convictions in Babylon. Some records indicate Mary, the mother of Jesus was not any older than 16. And today in scripture we observe that Paul is letting everyone know that Timothy should not be disrespected as a leader just for being young man. Was he even 18, we do not know? But recall most people such as the Romans in Paul’s day usually died by age 35! Age 18 would be comparable to age 40 today!
A young person, if living honoring God in holiness, will gain a powerful anointing for a special calling, and it is up to all of us to recognize this calling and support them! The factor with people, as when you or I were young, is there exists an inherent desire to want to adventure out and conquer the world! Channeled energy can be good, right? But independence can turn out very wrong if not guided by God! I observe that most all of us get energized from the activities of the youth who can for the most part be very optimistic, willing to take risks, and have a positive confidence believing that they have the ability to bring about a good “change” to this messed up sad unjust world.
3. Speaking of the messed up world, the perceptions the youth have of the world are ones that have been shaped by us, the parents, as well as by past teachers in schools or extended family (and include church family too). Do you recall there was some advice, which was a reality check, that circulated not long ago? I want us to revisit these important concepts as they reveal a lot about the condition of our youth in the world today.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
4. Here is an obvious conclusion, and tell me if I am wrong young people: A young person decides what they will do in life when usually about age 18 based on the good or bad influences or experiences they have had growing up? There is a contrast of radical convictions reported in the news as we hear of sacrificial young people going to serve in danger zones and even getting martyred helping the poor on missions. And at the same time we are informed about other young people raised pampered with the freedoms of the West, even girls, that chose to travel abroad in order to be trained to kill non-Islamic men, women, and children for jihadists? Not only young jihadists kill, but Hitler, Stalin, all the dictators had a young teenage army who were trained killers? So what causes young people to be so extreme, either extremely sacrificial, or extremely cruel? We as Christians know Jesus makes all the difference!