This has been most dominant in the area of ministry. Too young to hold certain positions, too young to be effective in this area, too young to know how to do this well.
It's funny how these things kind of creep up on you, because until today, I didn't realize how much I was feeling this way.
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in faith, in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:11-16
This was part of the passage I read today. Up to this point, I have pretty much attributed this verse to those in their teens and early twenties. Let's be honest, that's who it's most often spoken to in teaching. Today, I decided to look up some information about how old Timothy was at this point. From what has been gathered from historical information, he is probably about 26-35 yrs. old at the time Paul writes this letter to him. That's my age!
Could Timothy have been feeling the same way I am at this point?
Here God has sent him out on mission, alone, without Paul - his mentor and guide. He's put into a position where he now has to become the teacher and mentor. Now I'm not saying I'm Timothy and that God is going to lead me to do the same things he is doing here, but wow do I relate.
Yeah, I'm an adult and have adult responsibilities and all of that, but there's still that nagging thought at the back of my mind, "Am I ready? Am I old enough? Am I mature enough? Will others think I'm too young?"
Now, I said I didn't realize until today how much I've been feeling this way. When I read this passage, almost immediately conversations came popping back into my mind of instances when I actually said out loud to people "I don't feel like I'm old enough to do that" or "I probably wouldn't be asked because I'm not old enough" or "I'm not sure I'm ready to handle that at my age". Then I was reminded of thoughts that I've had that weren't spoken out loud, but had stopped me from doing certain things.
God was really speaking to me, making it loud and clear, This passage is not just for younger people. It's for you. It's for everyone who thinks they're too young or not ready or not well respected enough. It's for everyone I call to do ministry (whatever that ministry is). It doesn't matter how old you are, because the God of eternity is the One at work. He is the one who chooses whom He will use and how. He is the one that makes a ministry effective.
This is what happens when we lose sight of who is truly the one at work. We start to doubt. I need to regain my focus on Him who is able to do abundantly more than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Eph. 3:20), because to Him the glory will be given.