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.

Introductory Thoughts

Respect is not inherited, but must be earned. Paul wrote to young Timothy admonishing him to “let no man despise” his youth. In other words, Timothy was responsible for how others handled his youthfulness. Paul’s advice for Timothy was for him to be an example to other believers in every facet of life. If he did that, no man would despise his youth. They would begin to see Timothy as a man and would have no problem following his leadership. His youth would not be a hindrance. In the beginning, David was disdained because of his youth (1 Samuel 17:33, 42), but when he defeated Goliath and gave Israel the victory, he was given the respect of a war hero. David did not show up demanding or even expecting others to respect him; he earned it through his actions.

Devotional thoughts

 (For children): If you, as a child, want others to know you love the Lord, then you need to consistently act like you truly love Him. How should you behave at home, at church, in Sunday School, and in publick? Consider these verses for some guidance: Psalm 101:2a; 2 Thessalonians 3:7; Titus 2:7a.

 (For everyone): Why do young people become frustrated when adults fail to respect them? Is it possible they think they are entitled to the respect of others regardless of their actions?

 What are some ways you could keep others from despising your youth? What would you need to change in order to earn more respect from those around you?

Prayer Thoughts

 Ask the Lord to help you earn respect rather than expecting it.

 Ask God to give you wisdom beyond your years.