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“Don’t let anyone look down on you”

August 18, 2023

Daily Scripture

Acts 16:1-3, 1 Timothy 4:9-14

Acts 16
1 Paul reached Derbe, and then Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy. He was the son of a believing Jewish woman and a Greek father. 2 The brothers and sisters in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take Timothy with him, so he circumcised him. This was because of the Jews who lived in those areas, for they all knew Timothy’s father was Greek.

1 Timothy 4
9 This saying is reliable and deserves complete acceptance. 10 We work and struggle for this: “Our hope is set on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially those who believe.” 11 Command these things. Teach them. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith, and by being sexually pure. 13 Until I arrive, pay attention to public reading, preaching, and teaching. 14 Don’t neglect the spiritual gift in you that was given through prophecy when the elders laid hands on you.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

On his second missionary journey, the apostle Paul met a younger man named Timothy. Timothy became a deeply valued ally (cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2). Paul trusted him to lead churches (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3), even after Paul was gone (cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul urged Timothy to lead with confidence and trust in the gifts God gave him (which clearly did not depend on him reaching some minimum age). He must not let his youth cause him to shun responsibility.

  • This week we’ve read Biblical stories showing that you are never too old (e.g., Abraham, Moses) or too young (e.g., Jeremiah, Timothy) to do what God calls you to. If you are on the younger end of the age spectrum, do older people ever intimidate you, making you fear to offer your gifts and insights? If you are older, what helps you avoid the tendency to discount younger Christians whose thinking, style of dress or music is not the same as yours?
  • What examples of either spiritual courage or timidity are parts of your spiritual journey? In what ways have parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and other people given you confidence to fearlessly value and use your God-given strengths? How have the good examples shaped your life and service? How can you mentor and encourage someone who is younger than you are?

Lord Jesus, in this age-conscious culture, remind me that from your eternal view, age is one of the least of your concerns. Empower me to live without fear, now and in all my years of earthly life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe and his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 and were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew and Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

As I was pondering today’s passage, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,” I began to consider how talented our current generation is. They have similar talents to my generation, but they are just displayed differently. I started wondering how might the Kingdom of God utilize this generation’s skill set. This is how it could look:

HELP WANTED: Kingdom of God, LLC is seeking teammates who have the following talents:
• We need someone who can concentrate & complete an assignment in a timely manner while simultaneously listening to the latest Taylor Swift song on their Air Pods & watching a video on Tik Tok in the background.
• We are seeking someone who can quickly calculate how many episodes of “Murder in the Building” they can watch if their Ipad battery life is at 28%.
• We need someone who can fluently communicate in emojis.
• We are looking for someone who can send 11 texts per minute, using only their thumbs.
• If you feel you are qualified, upload your resume’ on LinkedIn, Indeed, or Zip Recruiter.

However, as I reflected further, I began thinking that perhaps this passage could have a broader meaning today. What if we take it to heart, as written, but also made sure that we don’t look down on anyone because they aren’t young, as well? (My thinking may have been tainted because I had just updated my progressive lens prescription, a plumber had automatically given us a Senior Citizen discount, though we are clearly unqualified, & my barber had joked, “Do you want me to count your hairs as I cut them?” I responded, “Sadly, in a year, I’ll be naming them.”)

How might my generation’s characteristics be utilized for God’s Kingdom?

HELP WANTED: Kingdom of God, LLC is seeking employees who have the following characteristics:
• We need someone with proven concentration skills that have been honed through years of carrying an ice tray full of water from the sink to the freezer without spilling a drop on the kitchen floor.
• We are seeking someone who can quickly calculate the distance between, say, Leawood, Kansas & Larned, Kansas, using only a paper map. Bonus points if you can fold the map properly on the 1st try.
• We need someone who can fluently translate & write cursive handwriting.
• We are looking for someone who can type at least 55 words per minute.
• If you feel you are qualified, print off a copy of your resume’ & mail it to:
Angel Gabriel / Box 1 / Promised Land, Eden 000001

Huh. Who knew? Maybe God’s Kingdom can use all generations. Perhaps having a blend of young & old believers could provide amazing synergy as both groups bring their talents to the table. Each group has incredible strengths that can help overcome each other’s weaknesses or blind spots. Instead of viewing different generations as competitors, maybe we should be inspired by today’s passage & seek to encourage & assist each other to maximize our potential for His Kingdom.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to make sure we get the Early Bird menu at Texas Roadhouse restaurant before the shuttle bus from the Tallgrass Creek Senior Living community shows up.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.