The youthful age is the formative period in the life of a man or an organization. This period is characterized with a lot of learning processes. This processing period is so important because it defines, to a very large extent, the course of such an entity. It will most definitely set the life: behavioral and developmental tendency of such an entity.
The Lord placed so much value in youthful development that he would admonish them not to allow anyone despise the period of their youth. 1Tim 4:12-16.
Follow as we serialize this scripture to come to the extent of God’s desire for the youths.
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. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
LET NO MAN DESPISE THY YOUTH
The phrase above is alluding to your position as a youth and not necessarily you, as a person. We should be able to separate position from the person in this study to have a better understanding.
The YOUTH here however refers to a particular age bracket of especially, SINGLES and the MARRIED YOUTHS.
Now, looking at the word, ‘to despise’, you find below the opinions of several bible scholars and the Strong’s concordance.
“To contemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of … . To think against or disesteem”.
Have you ever found yourself in a position to render an opinion and various factors are working against you? A man despising you could be directly or indirectly.
‘Directly’ here means some persons are directly putting others down. They don’t give them opportunity to express themselves.
- They may take you for too young to offer an opinion where adults are gathered.
- That you don’t have the requisite experience to contribute to the matter at hand even though you have an idea of what to do.
- That you are not of the status of the class of people gathered.
- Some may be there who attended your naming ceremony and your graduation and may still see you as the child of yesterday. Mt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3.
Take example from what happened to David in 1Sam. 17. All the captains and men of war could not stand against Goliath. When David stood up to render assistance, oppositions from his elder brother – Eliab in vs. 28 – and from Saul in vs. 33, were the order of the day. Meanwhile, for forty days in the battle front, they had no solution to Goliath with all their years of experience in the acts of warfare.
Now, let’s examine the said passage:
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner. And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
When these oppositions arose, David would not be put down. He ensured he followed the leading of the Lord to proceed to deliver the Lord’s people from the bondage of Goliath and the Philistines.
The reasons below may have spurred David to do what he did.
- He knew that he was anointed of the Lord, to fight the Lord’s battles. 1Sam.18:17.
- That the Lord had trained his hands to war and his fingers to fight. (Psa 144:1) A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
- In verses 34 – 35, he reiterated to Saul the qualifications he had attained by an act of confidence, against the bear and the lion in the wilderness, while tendering the father’s flock.
- He exhibited a high level of confidence in God.
- He boasted in His God and was therefore able to instill confidence in others.
- He knew the reason he was at the battle front at that moment and would not allow his brother’s opinion to put him down.
- The size, credentials and the boasting of Goliath could not dissuade him from the set objective.
- He was completely resolute on the mission ahead.
- He ensured he stayed within his commission by not wearing the cloak of Saul against Goliath. For, many youths have refused to seek God for their primary callings but are emulating the ministries of men whom they fancy. Not David. He would not run with the ministry he had not proven.
- David had proven his ministry in the wilderness while tending the flock!
- It goes to show that the proof of any successful ministry is actually in the wilderness where you will encounter the lions and the bear of this life.
‘Indirectly’ here speaks of you putting yourself down. Even when given the opportunity, you would shy back and not take the advantage, for whatever reason.
Such factors as:
- The people in discussion are much more elderly than me and so are full of wisdom. You therefore feel that your opinion was of low value compared with these men of wisdom.
- You have a complex because of the caliber of people who are gathered.
- You feel disadvantaged because of your financial and educational status.
- You feel you lack the requisite experience.
- You feel the people gathered are daddy’s and mummy’s.