Once upon a time, there was a program on television called "Doogie Howser, M .D.". It’s obvious from the title that the program was about a doctor, but it wasn’t unique in that regard at all, A lot of programs had doctors in them, as they do even now. What was unique about this program was that the doctor was a teenage boy. The whole story line was written around the incredible accomplishments of a young genius in just a fraction of the time that other M.D.s had required to achieve their degrees. Therefore, the single most important theme of the series was not that Doogie was a doctor, but that he had become one at such a young age.
Similarly, the single most admirable quality of a faithful, spiritual young person is not that they demonstrate Christian discipline, but that they do so at such a young age. It is this to which Paul seems to draw our attention at 1 Timothy chapter four. At verse twelve, he calls upon youthful individuals to be examples to the believers. We expect older, more experienced Christians to be proper examples, and we may often look to them for inspiration and encouragement.
However, when we witness in our youngsters those spiritual qualities which inspire and encourage, their example makes perhaps a greater impression on our mind than that of older people. It’s unfortunate that many youthful people have already developed such a poor reputation for themselves that few people, if any, would ever give them a good report. Yet, this apostle admonishes that a young person’s life should be lived in such a way that no one would despise his youth; that is, that no one could justifiably find a reason to condemn or criticize the fruit of this young one’s life.
Paul offered six areas in which youthful people can be examples to all believers. One, in word; the manner of speech that one adopts for himself can readily reveal his spiritual refinement, or lack thereof. Two, conversation; in the King James scriptures, "conversation" refers to the whole of a man’s behavior and demeanor. Three, charity; Paul taught at First Corinthians thirteen that no matter what else one accomplishes in the name of Christ, he hasn’t accomplished much unless he learns charity.
Four, spirit; both indwelling of the Spirit Holy and the zeal with which one serves in the kingdom. Five, faith; without it, it is impossible to please God, and it cannot be demonstrated without works. Six, purity; spiritual impurity separates everyone from God, while purity of heart and life is Christ-likeness at it’s best. Recall, though, that these youngsters are called upon to be examples to all believers in these respects. Therefore, if such is expected of the young, they are certainly required of the old.