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.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
It’s been many years now but I remember a young man who was a member of my church. He was a senior in high school at the time and he was very interested in learning more about the Bible and so attended a Bible study after school. He usually carried his Bible with him so that he could read it during his study periods or on his lunch hour. He once told me how the other boys in his class made fun of him for this, but that he cared more about what God thought than what his classmates thought. I was both surprised and proud that he had such a deep faith and commitment to Christ. I often wondered what happened to him as he moved on after high school and I lost track of him. I’m sure that there are instances of young men in a religious high school who read the Bible in school, but I’m not sure about those in a public high school such as this young man. He was not ashamed of his faith and I’m sure that he suffered many hardships as a result. I hope he continued his journey as an adult and continued to both profess his faith and bring that faith to others. It is as if he was a modern day Timothy. We too need to be proud of our relationship with God and not ashamed to live as he wants us to live, continuing to deepen our relationship with him by prayer and meditating on the Bible, and letting others know the joy of the Good News.
Lord, in every generation you inspire young people of faith to spread the Good News to their peers as they grow ever closer to you. Thank you for their witness that gives us hope that your message will be carried to future generations. Amen.