Titus 2:1-8: “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worth of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In you teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Mark Batterson has become one of my favorite authors. In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day was an incredible read. I have just recently started reading his second book (for the second time), Wild Goose Chase. While Batterson has a lot of wisdom in both of these books, he really has challenged me with a couple of thoughts from Wild Goose Chase. He states, “It’s never too late to become who you might have been.” and later in the same chapter, “I don’t care how old you are, if you’re still breathing, it means God isn’t finished with you yet.” What encouraging thoughts. God has a plan for us and we can never be too old. That’s what I took out of the passage above. Paul has a lot he is saying to Titus here, but I really picked up on the fact that he is challenging Titus to challenge the older men and women to mentor the younger men and women. He is saying that God has a purpose, even if it is teaching the younger generation how to live life the way God intended. That’s all well and good, but it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking, well I have my whole life ahead of me. I’m young, God won’t use me until I’m older because “It’s never too late to become who you might have been”. Then we read Paul’s words to Timothy.
I Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
This is the thought that hit me the hardest. This passage from I Timothy has long been a favorite verse of mine because I like to work with teens. I use this verse to tell them that they can be used by God. What struck me is that I have my own doubts about being used by God. I have recently been feeling the call to preach full-time; to become the Preaching Minister at a church and to also, one day, have the opportunity to preach across the country. But doubt creeps in. I only have a degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Youth Ministry. No church is going to bring me in to preach full-time. I forget the words from I Timothy and what they can mean in my life, not just the lives of the teens that I am blessed to work with. Batterson goes on to write, “In my experience, God loves using us before we feel like we’re ready.” How true is that? I think part of it is Satan playing on our insecurities, but I think it’s also God saying, you can’t do it on your own. But with Me, you’re more than ready. It’s God’s way of showing His power through us. And that’s an encouraging thought.