Here are some words that I have heard very often…
“She is too young to really know what the Bible says.”
“She is too young to be posting on a Christian blog.”
“She is too young and has no right to say anything about what God says about certain things in public or towards others.”
The key words to all of those statements are too young. You see, for years, I have been told that I am too young to do certain things, and for a very long time, I believed it. Instead of being inspired by most of the Christian people in my life, I was told to be quiet, to stop asking so many questions, to refrain from getting involved in “adult conversations” that were about the Bible or scriptures. I am very, very blessed to have been raised in a wonderful home and to have parents who urge me to search the scriptures and to be able to discuss things and even have respectful debates in my home over what the Bible says. I can remember doing Bible studies with my family and having the freedom to discuss things that confuse me, and even to put my thoughts into decisions we made based on what I believe God was telling me through prayer, scripture or other people. I’ve always felt important in my home, even though I am young, I have felt like God can use me despite my age. Like my opinions still mean something even though I’m only seventeen. But still, I spent a long time being ashamed of my age outside of the comfort of my house. When people asked me how old I was, I would answer truthfully with a sigh because I knew that people wouldn’t take 14, 15 or 16 year old me seriously. Why would you want to come to a young person and talk to them about the Bible? Ask for advice? Seek out wisdom? And yet I so badly wanted to have these discussions and be taken seriously. I so badly wanted to be able to write posts about God and be taken seriously. Not because I want others to accept me and be proud of me and praise me, but because I desperately wanted to make a difference for God, yet everyone kept telling me to wait until I was older.
And goodness, waiting seemed like torture. Waiting still seems like torture.
At the age of seventeen-and by the way, this is the first time I’ve admitted to my age on this blog because of my feelings on this-I am still very ashamed of my age. I feel as if my readers will laugh at me and think…no seventeen year old girl can be taken seriously. No seventeen year old girl can have enough knowledge on scripture to be writing about it. And although I’ve recently begun to feel a bit better about this after a few discussions with a person that I admire greatly, and through my studies on what the Bible says about age, I’m still stuck with this feeling of inadequacy and this is a sore spot, even now. So today, when my age was brought up again, by a family member, no less, I was hurt, and I immediately started to question myself and what I post. But here is the problem; when I doubted my posts, I was doubting God because He has guided me through every post I make. Every post I make is carefully written, and I pray over each post. I know that God is calling me to be here, to post what I post, to do what I do, and even though I don’t listen to Him every time, I try my best. I was stung, and even though I hate to admit it, I almost wanted to stop what I was doing. I felt extremely inadequate and unimportant. But then, I was reminded of this verse in 1st 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.
This verse…the first verse I memorized as a younger person, a verse that my own mother frequently quotes to me when I’m feeling this way, back in my head again and at the best of moments. Let no man despite thy youth, but be thou an example. Being an example at seventeen is laughable to me because I’ve let my human doubts seep in. I let other people sway my opinion on myself. How terrible is that? When God doesn’t care about age or how long you’ve been saved as long as you are actively seeking Him, actively loving Him. My value and my knowledge is not based on my age, it is based on how I am seeking God. This fear kept me from speaking out in church today during our discussion time because I was ashamed, I felt like I would be laughed at, mocked, because I am not a wise 50 year old woman who has been saved for 30+ years of her life and knows so much more than the young teenaged girl in the pew beside me. But age is just a number, and it is not something that should ever hold us back in how we serve God.
At the age of 19, Charles Spurgeon began his ministry. He was preaching and filling pews as a teenager, on fire for God after being saved. In fact, it is said that his boyish appearance contrasted greatly with the maturity of his sermons.
A.W. Tozer was saved as a young teenager and thus began his ministry.
And if you want to look into Biblical times, we will see many young people being used for God’s glory. Young men and young women alike, being called out of their sin and called into God’s embrace, stirring up revival, filling up pews, sharing the Gospel with a sin-darkened world as teenagers and young adults. We want to look at these people and say that we are not even worthy of being compared to them, and I will be quick to agree, but really…aren’t we wrong? Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, was simply a young man who loved God with all of his heart and wanted to tell others about Him. Did God love him more than He loves me? What if Spurgeon had of had people tell him to wait until he was older to preach? What if he had of listened? What if, instead of preaching at the age of 19, he had of been more like a normal teenager and kept quiet? Would souls have remained lost? Would his fire have burned out because he stifled it himself by waiting? I am able to acknowledge what Christ has saved me from, a lifetime on earth, miserable and apart from Him, and an eternity in Hell, so what stops me from telling others? What stops me from seeking out more and more knowledge on scripture? Why should I not talk about what I learn? Why should I not be on fire for God? I refuse to let other people hide my fire because they think it is too bright for my age. How does that make sense to us?
There are people dying. There are lost souls all around. This world is getting worse, and there is no time for me to wait until I am older and perhaps a bit wiser. God does not call us to wait until we are a certain age to share the gospel…He simply says to share it.