But Be An Example.

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.

 

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28 thoughts on “But Be An Example.

  1. 2015horse September 29, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    Amen! I L O V E this post! I’m not quite 16 and I feel like this a lot… The adults in my church never talk to the younger people about the Bible or anything having to do with Christianity. Just recently my friends and I have started being able to talk about this type of stuff without feeling awkward. It’s so sad because the fire was there is all of us but we felt like we couldn’t talk about it because we were young. I felt like this recently when I wanted to share with my dad that I felt God was calling me to the mission field, but it took me f o r e v e r to get up the courage to bring it up… because I thought he wouldn’t take me seriously because of my age. I felt he would doubt the fact that I really thought this is what God was telling me. Thank you for writing this post!

    Like

    • kalinann September 29, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing a bit of your story with me! It’s definitely tough to feel like an *important* person in the faith when you’re young. We look up to the older saints so much, and that is absolutely correct in that we should look up and revere those who have been saved longer and have been seeking Him out for years and years, but I think we forget that young people can make a difference as well, and young people can be on fire for God as well. It’s a shame that young people aren’t taken as seriously as they should be when they are studying and seeking God out!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty Greenbacker September 29, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Amen! As I was reading your post I was thinking about Ecclesiastes where it says that there is a season for everything. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. So God can and does use you now at the age you are for a reason. Don’t listen to those who don’t know better! We, as the church, should be thrilled that there are young people who are eager to learn, to share, and to grow so that the next generations continue being on fire for God! Be blessed! Thank you for sharing!

    Patty

    Liked by 1 person

    • kalinann September 29, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Thank you so much for the sweet encouragement, Patty! I love those verses in Ecclesiastes. Love how often God uses His word to inspire us and encourage us.

      Like

  3. Mihaela Echols September 30, 2016 / 1:20 am

    So true no one it too young to share the love of God. If the fire of his love is burning in them then let the flames spread.

    Like

  4. Shan Walker September 30, 2016 / 1:39 am

    That’s why I love how Paul takes Timothy under his wing and encourages him because of his youn age. God can use you so much!

    The How-to Giru

    Liked by 1 person

    • kalinann October 1, 2016 / 2:09 am

      Yes! If only we could all have a person to invest in our lives like Paul invested in Timothy!

      Like

  5. debolton September 30, 2016 / 11:11 am

    I don’t think age is a factor but maturity in the word. Truth come from the mouths of babes. But, I feel that same maturity should be considered if someone is trying to correct some misconcieved concepts. It all varies from person to person but God anoint the young and old.

    Like

    • kalinann September 30, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      I do think that young people need to be careful with how they speak and respect older folks. Maturity counts there! There’s got to be respect 🙂

      Like

  6. littlemisscant September 30, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    I think I might be the only one here who disagrees but perhaps it’s due to the circles we run in.
    We are very active in our church and very active in Kids ministry so we are in “the trenches” living life with these kids and because we have that relationship with them and that open line of communication they are sharing what God is doing in and through them. As parents we read our bibles in front of our kids and encourage them to share with us what God is teaching them. We just need to get out of our comfort zone and engage fully with this next generation of faith filled children.

    Like

    • kalinann September 30, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      That’s so wonderful that you’re interactive with them! I did have a couple of good teachers who encouraged me, and it made such a huge difference in me.

      Like

  7. GodlyDivaGal September 30, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    17? You are awesome – may God bless you abundantly!

    Like

    • kalinann October 1, 2016 / 2:10 am

      Thank you so much for the sweet words and encouragement!

      Like

  8. Caroline September 30, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    This is so true. No matter what the age, he never restricts us!

    Like

    • kalinann October 1, 2016 / 2:10 am

      Amen! People may restrict us, our own doubts may restrict us, but He never does!

      Like

  9. Amy Hagerup (@amyhagerup) October 1, 2016 / 2:14 am

    This is awesome. Thanks for your boldness and for your desire to grow in the Lord and share what youa re learniing with the blogosphere. Blessings,

    Like

    • kalinann October 1, 2016 / 2:18 am

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! ♥

      Like

  10. À LA MODEST October 1, 2016 / 4:06 am

    This is excellent! I, too felt that way when I was your age and younger. I looked much older than I was growing up, mostly because of how I spoke and acted. When adults found out my age, most of them immediately changed the way they dealt with me, and it truly disappointed me. I’m 29 now, and whenever I am around a younger man/woman, even a child, I make sure to take them seriously, especially when they give me reason to. You surely do! 🙂

    Like

    • kalinann October 3, 2016 / 1:38 am

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! It means a lot to me! I’ve been in conversations a lot, especially lately, and seem to be taken seriously until my age comes up. It’s so sad to know that so many people are being ignored based on the year they were born!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A. Renee October 2, 2016 / 12:46 am

    This is a great post! I have felt this way as an adult even. Just keep doing what you are doing, you are doing great!

    Like

  12. Carrie Anderson October 2, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    Keep pressing forward, stay in the Word and do what Paul told Timothy – don’t let anyone tell you you can’t because you’re young. I know you love God’s word, so feel free to stop by my place. I just set up a Facebook group for women who love Scripture and defending the faith. You would be great!

    Like

  13. Kirsten A January 3, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Hi, Kalin!

    Here’s a thought to hopefully encourage you. I’m 25, but I’ve only been a Christian for about eight months. My Bible reading has been very slow due to chronic illness (I haven’t even finished the New Testament). Even if I were reading it at a normal speed, I’d still be an immature Christian.

    I also follow other blogs here and on Tumblr written by Christians who are younger than me. You guys might be younger than me biologically, but I’m definitely the younger one in terms of being a Christian!

    I’m glad you’re not letting the opinions of others stop you from doing what God has called you to do.

    Like

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