mandag 9. januar 2017

Examples of all ages

I expect that the vast majority of those who belonged to a Christian community while they were young, more than once had the exhortation Paul gave to Timothy quoted to them:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Tim 4:12
In addition to being an exhortation, it is also an encouragement, and today I will dwell on the encouragement. I had the verse quoted to me on several occasions, and I received it solely as an encouragement: "Hang on, Jostein, your young age doesn't matter!". 

I needed that encouragement, for even though I was a junior among the youth in our church, I was made a leader for the youth group at the age of 15. Fortunately, I already had some leadership training from being a scout. 

Of the 104 cadets entering the “Overcomers” session at William Booth’s College in London on the 9th of Oct 1974, I was the youngest in addition to being a foreigner. When I was ordained scarce 20 months later, I was still a teenager and for nearly a year I was the youngest officer in the world. 

Therefore, it was good to know that being a role model is not about age or position, but about how I live as a disciple. That was what it was all about when I was young, and is still the standard when I have turned 60.

For the same reason I have down through the years learned from examples of all ages. I learn from a child’s trust in God. I learn from a young person’s enthusiasm and desire to spread the gospel. I learn from a man who through conversion is transformed in such a way that he can break away from his destructive lifestyle and help others to do the same. I learn from colleagues of the same age and older Christian leaders who have kept the fire through a long life. Because they give me a glimpse of Jesus.

‘Manna’ for today:

To be an example is about living

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