One of the very famous scriptures on youthfulness is in First Timothy; “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (4:12). This scripture has gained popularity because (1) the greater percentage of every population consist of youths, and (2) the youth are the most dissatisfied in society. Every youth with the strength of this scripture craves liberty.

Paul the Apostle told these things to Timothy, a youthful pastor. He admonished him to fulfill his ministry amidst the influence of the elders.
Timothy was to be as steadfast as a lion in leading the church rather than being tossed to and fro by the grown-ups. This happens to be the behaviour of most grown-ups, to confiscate the liberty of the young and expect them to do their bidding only. But this attitude is not proper.

I am not teaching that elders or parents or grown-ups should not tend to the young, neither am I encouraging the youth to be rebellious. All elders obviously have authority over the young yet their authority should (1) train the youth in the Lord, and (2) not provoke the youth to anger. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

By this revelation the youth are not encouraged to revolt, but rather invigorated to be living epistles written by the Holy Spirit to be read by all peoples. The life of the youth should be a gospel to impact lives and as much turn many unto Christ. Therefore no one ought to despise the youth neither should the youth despise himself or herself.

God, so much believes in youthfulness such that He does not expect anyone to look down upon the youth. Again He would not be glad to see them languish in inferiority complex either. Regardless of background, God has so much invested in each individual. He has not made anyone inferior to anyone. 

The youth are not inferior. So it is wrong to look upon yourself contemptibly. Every young person is encouraged by the Holy Word of God to be confident with the patience of Christ. The gift of life given unto you is a gospel written by God to transform a million lives. You are urged to live exemplarily for others to follow.

In Paul’s admonishment he commands the youth to be an example to believers (Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:7; Ti. 2:7, 8). God expects the youth to be examples in (1) word, (2) conversation, (3) charity, (4) faith, and (5) purity. 

In word: To teach and preach the Truth i.e. the Word of Christ which is able to save souls from perishing. God does not expect the youth to follow the doctrines and philosophy of the fathers which contradicts His will. But that they take a stand to proclaim the Truth only. (Ti. 2:15)

In conversation: The youth are expected to behave well. Their domestic and public conducts should be without blemish, but rather that which glorifies Christ. (Phil. 1:27)

In charity: To express unfeigned love to believers and to all (1 Cor. 13). Christ desires to work His perfect love through the love of the youth. Out of the charity a youth gave his five loaves and two fishes for the feeding of the 5000 (Jn. 6:9). When the youth express the love of Christ miracles abound.

In faith: To maintain an unshaken confident and commitment in God regardless trials and tribulation. Remaining uninfluenced by corrupt peers but rather directing them into the paths of righteousness is very required of the youth.

In purity: To have a pure heart and a right mind is so much looked-for from the youth (Jer. 17:9, 10; Mt. 5:8). Chastity must duly be a hallmark of the young (1 Tim. 5:2; Heb. 13:4)

These five ways are the very pages engraved by God for which the youth ought to be examples unto others. I call it a gospel, The Gospel According to the Youth. And I hear God saying to the youth, “Hey guys live this way because you are a gospel being read by everyone. I’m watching, and everyone is also watching. Go guys, let’s do this!”

I do not neglect the role of adults or grown-ups but it’s imperative that every grown-up has been a youth before. So dealing with the youth is expedient to produce quality adults. Nevertheless an adult who has wasted his or her life should live youthfully at heart in order to make up for the wasted days.

Every child should be trained in the way of Christ so that when they become youths they would not depart from righteousness but be examples unto all. Examples which bring glory unto Jesus Christ should be held in high. The youth are a Gospel, a living epistle unto all, therefore must they be encouraged in the Lord to live up and forward.
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 By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach 
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