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How I've embraced my calling at every age

“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 Timothy 4:12

Age doesn’t always determine your qualification. Oftentimes we look to those who are older for advice, leadership, and spiritual guidance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I believe that God speaks just as much through youth as he does through elders. In fact, the verse above was sort of a mantra for me when I was in my early twenties. I liked the idea of being able to set an example for other believers by the way I lived, and I loved that even the Apostle Paul believed that one young person who is equipped and encouraged can move hearts and mountains for Christ.

It was this idea that led me to volunteer, to raise my kids with courage, and to give my life over to the calling in ministry that God laid on my heart. As the years passed by, I stumbled. I’m not perfect, after all. I can honestly say that there were some weeks, and even months that I felt far from God, but I can also say that this verse has always helped me back to the right path, even now that I’m in my thirties and my kids are attending youth group. A friend of my grandmother always used to say that a person is never too old to follow God, and they’re never too young either. Whoever you are, at whatever age, you can begin now to live a life that inspires people, and you don’t even have to guess how. Paul listed it for us.

We can change lives simply by living our faith. When we speak, we can use our words to lift others up and glorify God. When we act, we can be God’s hands and feet, and we can do our best to avoid the things that will make us stumble. Of course, we may fail from time to time, but God is always there to lift us up again. My hope for you if that no matter how old (or young) you are--if you’re reading this, be inspired by God’s word. Know that you can live a life that sets an example for others, and pursue that life with your whole heart. You won’t be disappointed.

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