This last week at Lifehouse Tara Lopez spoke from 1 Timothy 4 on the premise of youth being a disqualifying factor to ministry. She specifically talked about the myth of AGE being something that has the ability to prohibit someone from engaging, fulfilling and finishing the work God has set before them. Quoting 1 Timothy 4:11-12 “Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” From her examination of this passage Tara set out to bust the myth of “Youth being a barrier to respect, authority or effectiveness.” Throughout the rest of her sermon she explained the importance of a life that is internally postured in worship and in pursuit of Jesus, from that we take part in the eternal things of God. Our outward physical aging and advancing towards a “wizened” age does not validate our callings in ministry or secure our ability to be authentically seeking after everything Jesus has for us. Paul addresses it clearly when he says that what proves, and strengthens what God has called us all to do, to be an example of the work of His kingdom, by the things we say, the way we live, the way we love, our faith and our purity. These things display the posture of our hearts. That is what it means to be the example. The quality of our character is displayed by an outward response caused by an eternal God who met us in the very depths of who we are.
I’m twenty-one years old now, and where that is not my claim to wisdom and maturity, it is merely a reference point. My age is nothing but a marker, to remind me of God’s faithfulness of the past, His faithfulness of my present and his promised faithfulness for my future. God does not ascribe more capacity for us to do great things for His name, as we get older. In fact, it seems counterintuitive to think that our age can make us more capable of doing more for Jesus, when in reality, the higher those numbers get, the closer to being with Jesus we move, and the less time we have. Regardless of being a youth, or an adult, one cannot be consumed by the number of reference called “youth” or “not youth.” The time is now, Christ to be known by the things we say, how we live, love, have faith and live in purity.
I am challenged to live not to the low, or constraining limitations of my age’s expectations for me. Timothy is commanded by Paul to teach as an example to everyone so they may learn from a youth. The point being, that low expectations from anyone is irrelevant to what God has called and asked us to do. I am challenged to not be “good enough” in what I say, how I live, love, have faith and live in purity. I am challenged to live in a manner that would set an example. Something that would cause people not to look at my age, my external being, but that they would see evidence of an eternal God, who lives in me.