Young People Who Are Called By God | Jonathan D Schmidt
A Youthful Example – March 25, 2015 – rewritten/modified
It has been some time since the last time I have blogged. Life can get very busy and somethings, like my personal relationships and spending time with the Lord take priority over writing on my blog. I hope that in this post I will be able to encourage and challenge your thinking. Although I am a missionary and wish for anyone who reads this blog to pray and consider supporting me monthly or for a special gift, I would much rather have a chance to encourage and challenge your thought and outlook on life.
I have served in Uganda for some time, but at the start of this blog I am back in the USA, for about 3 months, and will soon be leaving off to go continue my studies so that I can better serve the people of God. As I have been back in the USA I have been teaching and even had a chance to go teach on “pioneering missions and challenges” in Panama City, Panama! I have taught in churches here in the USA and also just lead a few group discussions.
I write this blog for young people called to leadership, to young people who are called by God, that are looking out on life not knowing how to impact or how to even make a difference; the ones who see the hurt and feel the pain of their friends, family, and neighbors who they do not even know. Paul tells Timothy that we are not to let anyone look down on him because he is young but to set an example (1st Timothy 4:12). The youth have the ability and opportunity to reach out to EVERY generation of people, to the fellow youth, to the children, and to the elders. I want to cover each one of these in this blog in a way that we can understand and think about in a way that will allow us to apply truths from this scripture into our lives. First I would like to start with the scripture:
1st Timothy 4:12
– “Let no one despise you because of your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (ESV)
We as the youth are supposed to set an example in EVERY area of life- these five points in the verse cover every aspect of one’s life. The way we go about setting an example in these areas is by first looking at the areas in our personal lives. We cannot set an example if we ourselves have not evaluated them. Thankfully we do not need to have them perfect to be an example if we just try to walk out in these areas in a way that is set apart and different people will notice what we do. I want to define each of these for you so that you know how to start working on each area:
1- Speech – This is the way you communicate, the way you voice your ideas and opinions, the words you use in your daily life, and the tone that you will have in your daily life. If you go about speaking in a manner that does not reveal the God who lives or wants to live, in you how can you expect people to listen. If you are always telling lies how can you expect people to believe you when you come to say what is true?
2- Conduct – This is how you live your daily life. Your actions, your emotions, gestures, and even body language. If these are done poorly no one will notice but when you act out in a way that your body and behavior changes, people will notice and wonder why this youth has the ability to act in such an honoring way to those around. Remember that this includes how you react physically to what other people say, even to the crinkling of your nose.
3- Love – I do not have to define this for you because the best definition is written in the Word of God. So read 1st Corinthians 13 for the definition for this.
4- Faith – This is a pretty easy one to define also because it goes with all of the first 3! Faith is shown in our actions (James 2). Having a speech that is honoring shows faith, having conduct that sets you apart shows faith, and walking out in love shows faith. Faith is the confidence in things hoped for and the assurance in what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
5- Purity – This is the biggest one for the youth to follow and set out in. Constantly it is used against us and it is a temptation that will never go away. Purity is not just sexual but it is also in our faith, love, conduct, and speech. It goes through us from start to finish. We are called to live pure in every aspect of our life. The word purity is defined as not having a lack of dirty or harmful substances or
the lack of guilt or evil thoughts. So you must sit down and ask your self in every area if both of these are true. Honesty is what will allow us to truly be an example in this area of our life.
Now to get into the how… How do we set an example for the children? This is easy! As we walk out lives in each of these children notice, and the best thing about children is that they tend to learn and pick up everything! Proverbs tells us that if you start a child off at a young age he will grow into a man of God. So here is the thing. As a youth, we have constant contact with children in our lives, even if they are friends younger siblings! We can speak into their lives by how we act and their spongy little brains will take it as “the way it is done” by doing this we set them up a young age. We have a special advantage over them because we are not their parents so they will freely choose to learn and freely choose to add it to their lives.
The youth, this one is for one reason and one reason only. When we see someone our age doing well and when we see that they are truly happy we desire to know what it is that makes them that way. However we youth also do not like being told what to do, especially by an adult, we may not admit it but if we think about it… It’s true. If a parent says something is stupid we disagree with them, but if a friend says something is stupid we are more likely to stop and reevaluate what we are doing. As a youth, we have the ability to impact the lives of people just by walking out in common-sense! So when we add in our speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity the impact is strengthened so much more!!! So let us pay attention to our personal lives so that we can impact the youth that we surround ourselves with every day at school, work, or just in our free time.
The elders. Ha, you might laugh at this but we have a CONSTANT opportunity and chance to impact the generations before us! As a youth, a younger generation who is still learning and still trying to figure life out we can impact the previous generations by just doing life with God in these 5 areas. An older man who sees a youth trying to figure life out and understand their purpose and where he wants to go but doing it in a way that honors all parties is going to change the way the old man looks at the youth and how he is living his life. The thought he will probably have might be something like ‘ if that young man can walk life out and fight through difficulties in an honoring way then I who have plenty of experience should be able to do it too’. Thus our actions will impact the older generations just by how we act IN our youth.
So here is the just of what I am saying… We should live life in a way not just to get things done or to be successful in the physical but we should take the time, while we are young, to start walking out lives that will impact the people around us just by being different. And as we grow and move into the category of the older generation we will be able to pass on the wisdom that we have learned. The gift of wisdom is not knowing you have it but knowing how to share it.
Until All Tongues Confess His Name,
Jonathan D Schmidt