(1 Timothy 4:12 KJV) 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.They like it because of the first part and totally overlook the finish. I teach middle school. At church I am involved with the high school and college ages. I like these kids. I enjoy being a small part of their lives. I have hopes for them.
At the same time they have a long way to go because they don’t seem to get the second part of this quotation. Their asset is not that they are young. It is because they are holy. Paul is writing to Timothy. Timothy had his issues but is clear that Paul thought he could be a good example.
Do you notice the difference in cultures? Ancient culture valued wisdom and believed that wisdom was rooted in experience. You don’t have much experience when you are young so you can’t have much wisdom. This is the age old understanding that brought up the idea that “children are to be seen and not heard.”
Our culture values youth. Why? It isn’t because of their wisdom although educators try to act like children are a fount of it. The pagan culture around us admires youth because it is afraid of death. It is the same phenomenon that has old men dying their hair, doing comb overs, unbuttoning their shirts and wearing big medallions. It is why we spend so much money on medical procedures that bankrupt our children.
There are some areas in which progress is great. I hope I never need to go back to a typewriter. I am a big supporter of anesthesia in dental work. Air Conditioning is a winner in my book. There are other areas where so-called progress is just regression caused by people who don’t know their history.
Respect is earned, not deserved. Righteousness is required.
homo unius libri