“Let no man despise thy youth” was a verse I heard often growing up. It’s found in 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV), and I think it resonated with me because I always seemed to be the youngest in anything I did. I started 1st grade when I was 5, so I was the youngest in my class, the youngest in the office when I got a job, etc. The verse is an encouragement to anyone who feels they are “too young” to handle a role they’ve been given. But the verse doesn’t stop there. It goes on in the NIV to say, “but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity . . . Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (v. 12-15)
Each of us, regardless of our age or anything else in life, has a responsibility to set an example for others to follow. We are called to faithfully serve God with everything we are so that God’s work in us can clearly be seen. As we talk to children about the life of Timothy, let’s encourage them that they can do anything God has called them to do – and that they have a responsibility to do so.