June is the month of graduations and weddings. Each marks the beginning of a new way of life for those involved. Graduates, brides and grooms are all embarking with starry eyes and lofty dreams on the sea of life. What these young people lack in experience they make up in hope and enthusiasm.

Paul told Timothy to ”let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Young people who are examples in these areas should certainly not be despised just because of their age. It is also important for the youngsters to respect their elders. Paul instructs Timothy to ”rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father.” God commanded the children of Israel saying ”Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God.” Wasn’t it Mark Twain who left home as a young man thinking his father knew very little and returned later to discover how much his father had learned in such a few short years? Young people need to remember that many Junes have come and gone since their elders graduated and married and the trials and experiences of these years have taught valuable lessons that can’t be learned in school. Those just starting out can benefit from those who have experienced the rough seas of life. ”The face of the old man” can also be encouraged and enthused by the vigor and spirit of the youth.

There is no war between the young and the old. Each age has its advantages and trials. Each can help the other, and neither will despise the other if all of us are examples in love.

Young people today face conditions that were unheard of in their parents’ youth, yet human nature has not changed. Paul’s advice to Timothy to ”flee youthful lusts” has a stronger message today than ever before because sin has become sophisticated. Paul warned Timothy that perilous times would come and they are now here! Men (and Paul does not confine it to young men) shall be lovers of their own selves, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Today pleasure has become the god of the world. Pleasure itself is not a sin, but unfortunately most sins are pleasant to the natural man. Moses as a young man chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season Even pleasures which are not sinful become sin when we love them more than we love God. True pleasure, the really worth while pleasures are found in the Lord as David exclaimed, ”Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

To the young people of all ages we want to re-emphasize Paul’s advice to Timothy who sought pleasure in the things of the Lord by giving attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine, meditating upon these things which have lasting profit for as Paul says, in doing this we will both save ourselves and those that hear us.

We may be graduating, setting up housekeeping or thinking of retiring, it doesn’t matter who we are, where we are, or how old we are, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: ”Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” If we are wise enough to do this then we shall have pleasures for evermore.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the respective author. Visit Thechristadelphians.org for more Minute Mediations.