2009-06-04 - Youthful Speaking
1 Tim 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (NASB)
Some of us will remember a segment of a show called Kids Say the Darndest Things. It was hosted by a gentleman named Art Linkletter who would gather a group of children from the audience and just talk with them. The things that were said were sometimes just a little surprising to downright hysterical. The humor could have been the use of the wrong word that sounded a bit like the correct word that meant something completely different. Other times it was the matter of fact answers from children of things they have overhead one adult say to another - often their parents. That was the perfect example of the unbridled energy of youth.
I'm going to take this a little out of context but I think the point is still made here. Paul is writing to Timothy who is being encouraged by Paul as Timothy begins teaching scripture in Macedonia. "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, ..." reminds me of the sometimes unbridled zeal of new Christians. They have met Jesus as Savior and they want to tell everybody they come close to what has happened to them. They barely have begun to take in the enormity what they have experienced. A new believer is often ready to take on the entire world it seems. Many of us have been this person and can smile at the memories.
Contrast this with Christians 20-30 years into their walk with Christ. If we have had good teachers and friends to help us along the way and some dedication ourselves to study, we have a store of knowledge. And that is a good thing. We mature in our faith realizing that the more we learn and the more we understand, the exponentially more there is to know. It's humbling. And that too is a good thing. Now if we could mix this knowledge and humility with the power of the fire of that youthful zeal, what would be unleashed?
Am I suggesting that we all head out for street corners and preach to the passers by? Only if that is your calling. If the Holy Spirit has not called you to that task, He will have something else for you to do. Our lives lived day-to-day, minute-by-minute for God will speak volumes even if we barely say a word. But here is the point. God will give us passion for what he wants us to do. He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4) IF we will delight ourselves in Him as a new believer revels in the knowledge of their new Savior. In that case our desires may change, but they will become conformed to his will and us to His purpose. And, ... there will be passion.
It's easy to want to quash the new believer as they run like a bull in a china shop. Let them be as long as they are not causing trouble. Don't look down on their youthfulness. But also watch and remember the passion they show for the lost, and their zeal to tell others, and learn again from them.
Grace & Peace,