It is a fact that adults do not always have the highest admiration and respect for young people. That’s why Paul wrote to Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth…” (I Timothy 4:12). Timothy faced a real problem as a young leader. Adults immediately turned him off, as they do young people today. Why?
Crime statistics show that teens are the greatest offenders, drugs are basically a teen problem, teens are known to be notoriously lazy and teens don’t always know all of the facts because, naturally they’re short on experience. For example, they haven’t had to support a wife and three children, build a house, pay insurance, pay all the bills, keep records for income tax purposes, manage a business, discipline children, and so on. In addition, some adults say young people are too loud, too giggly, too silly, and they drive their cars too fast.
You have probably encountered some “crazy teenagers” on one of your outings in your own vehicle or out shopping. Today’s teenagers can be obnoxious and overbearing. They can seem to be the center of the universe.
Yet, there are at least three reasons adults should look to young people and try to get them to follow God in their youth. We find instruction to young Timothy in I Timothy 4:8-16. Paul, having warned Timothy in verse 12 not to be despised, gives him three reasons he should be admired. Let’s consider one of these reasons in this article.
Abundant Energy (I Timothy 4:7,8)
Paul knew of Timothy’s interest in athletics. You will notice that he did not condemn sports as he said, “Bodily exercise profiteth little.” He then explained that bodily exercise is important for the physical being but does nothing for the spiritual being.
There is no doubt that young people have more energy than adults. They are always on the go; playing ball, cheering, going uptown, downtown, into town, out of town, over town, across town, through town, and around town. They are continually shopping, bowling, skating, laughing, playing, or just getting together.
All of this energy far exceeds that of a teen’s parents. Think what an advantage this could be in the Lord’s work! “Now,” should be the best time of a teen’s life to witness, visit, and serve the Lord. They have more energy than adults and have none of their ailments—no corns, rheumatism, sacroiliac problems, fallen arches, bulges, or bunions. Why should teens wait until they have an old, worn out body to serve the Lord?