Be an example, even in your youth
School is starting again.
For some of us, that means we'll be attending the school we've gone to our whole lives for seven hours a day. For others, it means moving into a dorm room hours from home (or maybe across town). Wherever it is that August and a new school year is taking you, be excited: God has so many adventures planned for you this year, and he wants us to take him with us into our classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, practices and residence hall, to be his love to our peers and teachers who need to see his face. God has placed us here, at this moment in history in our generation on purpose, to reach out to our peers in Jesus' name.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul encourages Timothy (and us!) with these words: "Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity."
I love how Paul tells Timothy to be an example, to step up and stand out for the sake of Christ. I love how, even though we are young (or maybe because we are young), we have an amazing opportunity to make a huge impact on people -- our brothers and sisters in Christ who are younger than us, the same age as us, and even our parents and teachers and people older than us -- by the way we live our lives when we are sold out to Christ. If we are living set apart from the worthless ways of the world, people are going to notice. And when they ask us about it -- even if it's to ridicule us -- we can tell them about the man who has changed our lives for eternity.
We can be sure that this man, Jesus, who has changed our lives will be here with us while we are letting the world see that our lives have been changed. When we are choosing forms of entertainment, activities for our social lives, clothes, and conversation topics that are different from what the world expects from young people, he will be the one strengthening us, the one changing our desires from those of the world to him, the one letting our lives shine as examples of godly speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
My prayer for us this school year is that we will be Christ's love everywhere we go. That we will have the conviction to be examples for Jesus, even when it's hard (especially when it's hard.) That we will seek Jesus' face in prayer, God's Word, and God's creation more and more every single day, even through times when it seems like Jesus isn't around at all (Deuteronomy 31:8). That God will transform us into mighty men and women of God who are leaders for him, who go anywhere and do anything for God.
Adventures await us, brothers and sisters. Let's give every part of our lives this school year for God's glory.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.