“No, you can’t. You’re too little.”
How many times have we heard those words? For me, as the youngest sibling of five, it’s more times than I can count.
“No, you can’t ride this waterslide. You’re too little.”
“No, you can’t go get the mail. Get this: you’re too little!”
Being prevented from riding a waterslide or getting the mail probably isn’t going to make many long-term changes to us. But…what if these disappointing statements, more often than not phrased implicitly, have the ability to cripple our lives and destroy our potential as young people?
“You can’t make a difference in the world yet. You have to wait until you’re older.”
“You shouldn’t strive to do well in school…just enjoy yourself for now.”
“Don’t even try to study the Bible by yourself—that’s for grown-ups.”
Sadly, these declarations—and many, many more—are being embedded so firmly into the minds of this generation that the very words “you’re too little” have become a sort of paradigm for us. A kind of protective covering which does nothing but crush our dreams and cripple our potential for growth.
But we’re never too little to serve God. Here are three ways to serve God right now.
1. Let No One Despise Your Youth.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
In the above verse, Paul advises Timothy to not let anyone look down upon him just because he is younger than they. This truth still applies to us today; the fact that we’re younger doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re less capable of rising up to challenges!
Paul then goes as far as to say that we, as young people, ought to be an example to the rest.
Wow! Not only are we supposed to keep up with the older ones, but we’re supposed to set the right example for them?
In 1 Samuel 17:42, David is disdained by the Philistine giant because he is “only a youth.” The same is true for young people today. There’s so much power that we hold in our hand—will we let others tell us that we don’t need to use it, or will we take it and change the world like David did?
2. Pursue Godly Things.
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
As a young person, I’ve often felt looked down upon. As if everyone is wary of my every move, believing that I intend to pursue nothing but trouble.
And indeed, it seems like some of us are intent on pursuing nothing but trouble. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul admonishes us to flee the youthful lusts which the world is always there to offer…and instead to pursue the things that will actually last in the eternal run.
That’s not an easy thing to do, is it? With everyone around us expecting us to pursue instinctive worldly interests, it comes as no surprise that doing otherwise leads to a good deal of shock. After all, the world thinks us too little to care about eternity.
Are we really?
3. Let Your Light Shine.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Jesus wasn’t addressing only the grown-ups in this verse—that wouldn’t make much sense. In the same way, we shouldn’t leave making a difference to the adults!
Christ uses clear imperatives here. He tells us to impact the world by glorifying God in all we do, in order that others may seek to glorify Him as well.
Unfortunately, we are often made to believe that we don’t have to do this quite yet. There’s still time, right?
Actually, not exactly. Time is ticking. If we don’t start now, will we ever?
We don’t have to wait until we’re older to start impacting the world around us. No matter what anyone misleads us into thinking, we’re never too little to make a difference.
The cultural mindset seems to dictate that there are some things we are just too young for. But we have a choice. We can believe that, or we can quietly decide to break the barriers preventing us from reaching our full potential. Which will we choose?
Don’t let anyone cripple your plans by telling you that you can’t, because no one is ever too little in the kingdom of God.
This week, I challenge you: identify the first person who tells you that you’re too little to do something that you know you should be doing. And prove them wrong.