When I was younger, my dream goal was to be the youngest specialist in my field. As I got older, that dream seemed to vaporize one birthday at a time. In pursuit of my dream though, I have been the youngest XXX in many areas of my life- One of the most daunting “youngest” so far was being the youngest “boss”. Not only was that intimidating, sometimes, I would second guess my own authority and expertise. Sometimes I felt looked down on and was disrespected by older subordinates. In today’s readings Paul is sending forth his protégé Timothy who is considerably younger than him to be a minister of the gospel and this is his advice:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.1 Timothy 4: 12 NIV
As we journey through life, people will despise you or look down on you for different reasons- your intelligence, your level of education, the colour of your skin, your family name, your ideas, your personality, your faith, or like in Timothy’s case, your age. The list is endless but Paul teaches us how to rise above all of that- live an exemplary life in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. That is how you come to be without reproach regardless of what makes you different.