Children have a lot to learn in their lifetimes, but it is never too early to begin to teach others what they do know. At times, children will know more than even the adults around them, just as Jesus did in the temple, when he was 12. All of us have knowledge or lessons that are important to share. Sometimes, the greatest lessons are taught in the simplest ways…by children.
Read 1 Timothy 4:12-16.
All of you sitting up here with me this morning are younger than I am. Lots younger. I’ve lived more years than you have and during that time, I’ve learned a lot of things that you don’t know yet. Some of them I can’t teach you, because they are things you have to learn on your own, but there are lots of things I can teach you. Did you know, that every time I spend time with you guys though, you teach me?
Now how can people who are younger than I am and may not know everything I know, teach me something? Well, for one thing, you’ve had experiences that I haven’t had. You know something about what goes on at your school. I haven’t ever gone to school here. I grew up in another city.
You have a different perspective than I do, because you have different parents than I do and you live in a different house than I do and you are a different person than I am. The way you see the world is unique and it always will be.
You are good at things I am not good at. How many of you are good at sports? How many of you are good at math? How many of you are good at taking things apart and putting them back together again? You could teach me how to be better at those things, because I am not good at any of them.
See, teaching others is not about how much you know or how old you are. In 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to his friend Timothy, who is a young missionary just starting out. He tells him “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. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”
Just because you are young does not mean you don’t have a lot to give to others and God may be placing you with someone older than you are, in order to teach them something. Each of you is an example to the people around you. They see how you behave and the things you choose to be important in your life and they learn things from that. So be a good example - so everyone can learn good things from you.
Heavenly Father, when we are young, we may feel like we should only be learning and that we have nothing to teach. Show us how to be good examples for other people, so that we can teach everyone around us what it is like to be your child, no matter what age we are. In your name we pray, Amen.