Tag Archives: New Testament

Be an example, young people! :)

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all the believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

A lot of Christians think this verse is some kind of general verse for all young people. They think that young people are automatically entitled to not be looked down on by older people simply because the bible says so. The bible says no such thing.

This bible verse written by Paul is not for all young people. It is written specifically to a young man named Timothy. Any other young person wishing to take part in Timothy’s entitlement to not be looked down on because of his age must also take part in the other instructions that Paul writes in this passage. Later in the verse, Paul tells Timothy to “be an example” in what he says and the way he lives his life. A few sentences later, Paul tells Timothy to keep a close watch on how he lives and to stay true to what is right.

Any young person who wishes to take part in Timothy’s entitlement to not be looked down on because of his age must also take part in Timothy’s burden of being an example to everyone of all ages. This doesn’t have to be a stressful or complicated burden. But it does require an acknowledgment that God has called you to be an example here and now. God’s plans for you are not tomorrow somewhere else. They are today wherever you are. And if you step up to the plate and set an example for those around you, you are fully justified in taking for yourself Timothy’s entitlement to ignore anyone who looks down on you because of your age.

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A wee look at the bible

The other day, as I walked to work, I was reading Luke 1 in my little Gideon pocket bible (NT and psalms/proverbs) that I got given along with every other third former when I was at high school. It’s quite interesting comparing Zacharias’ lack of faith with Mary’s total belief in what the angel tells her, but what I really liked was the prophecy Zacharias makes over John the Baptist at the end of the chapter:

68″Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people.
69He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

(copied from NIV, not Gideon)

The reason I like it so much is that I think that prophecy applies to all of us, not just John. We are here to give people knowledge of salvation etc yeah? It’s pretty exciting stuff.