Youth is NOT to Be Despised

For young and old, this wisdom is to be cherished, honored, and practiced diligently.

Text for Today – 1 Timothy 4:12 – 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.

All my life, I have witnessed a struggle between the older (parenting) and younger (generally teens & early twenties) generations.  Both groups think they know best, and usually, both are wrong.  The older generation should expect change, and encourage it when it is right.  The younger generation demands change right now, and often refuses to work toward it gradually. 

To the older generation, I write; Despise NOT the youthful ones.  Never deliberately adopt an attitude that forces or provokes the younger generation into a despised position.  Even when they do or say things that seemingly call for it (their dress, make-up, hair style, jewelry, body piercings, music, dance, language, etc.), choose to walk in love toward them and stand strong in faith on their behalf in your heart.   Remember, you don’t have to like what they do or how they act or look to love them and speak faith.  In fact, it’s when you don’t like what they do, or how they look and act that you had better love them and be strong in faith for them.

To the younger generation I write; You have the ability to influence how others think about you and treat you.  Don’t misuse this incredible power.  Your words, actions, appearance, and attitude are yours to use to your own advantage or disadvantage.  Choose wisely.  You may see a genuine need for change, but the way you approach it, the way you treat the older generation, all those factors about which I’ve written, and especially your attitude, will greatly determine whether the older generation will respect what you are attempting to do, or reject it out of hand.  If they respect it, you are far more likely to succeed, and sooner than you think.  If they don’t respect it, you may succeed, but your journey towards that success will be far longer and more difficult. 

In the final analysis, the younger generation has much more power than they think, but it is not found in rebellion or stubbornness.  Rather it is found in learning to communicate, understanding the principles set forth in the Scriptures.  When young people operate by and practice Biblical principles, the wisdom of that practice greatly increases their favor with the older generation, and in addition, allows the younger generation to walk in the wisdom of God that NEVER fails.

Manna for Today – 1 John 5:3; Romans 14:23; Psalm 119:98-100