Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4:7-13
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7)
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
There is a lack of maturity and discrepancy in age and action amongst today’s youth. With the boom of social media, the rise of memes and the never-ending TikTok feed, pop culture today assumes that you and I have nothing better to do than waste our time laughing at stupid and worthless jokes. Although jokes and a good laugh here and there are by no means sinful, our constant 24/7 engagement with them has planted in us fruits of immaturity and foolish talk. For fear of missing out and for the sake of relatability, we create memes, we laugh, and we chuckle at things that are worthless in the end.
It is not that memes and relatable jokes are inherently wrong and evil. It is the fact that our attachment to them has turned us into quick escapism from the reality of life and essentially blossomed into childish ignorance. Our speech has become nothing but foolish talk, and this has consequently led to selfish actions. How many times have you found yourself laughing hours away at pointless and virtually worthless things? How many times has “fitting in for the inside joke” compromised our stance as a Christian? As Ephesians 5:4 comments, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place.”
Though such discussion could be categorised as a “party pooper” to youth’s fun and excitement, we must learn a profound truth. Our foolishness and immaturity hinder us from the reality of joy and peace in godliness.
Godliness is not not sinning. Godliness speaks of devotion to the Highest. It speaks of walking with God, obeying Him and turning our lives in sin into a life in God. 1 Timothy 4:10 says it was to this end that Paul strived. He longed for godliness to be spread. Godliness was and is what we all require. We desperately need a relationship with God; we need to obey and enjoy Him. Where does this come from? And who will understand the beauty of godliness? Only the Spirit works.
Paul knew for a certainty that godliness was the way to go. From the day Christ appeared to him on the road, Paul understood his life’s intent and purpose. From then, He knew that nothing compared to knowing the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). Because of such realisation, Paul counted all “as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7). This included his past life. This includes our foolish talk and immature behaviour.
On the contrary, God calls us to be young men and women who stand as a light and witness to true godliness. He calls us to be witnesses of godliness in our speech and daily conversations, in our day to day activities, in who and how we choose to love, in our faith and trust in God, and in our purity from sin and lust.
This calls for change, not just at church or amongst Christian friends. This calls for an inward change that changes our whole to be presented for godliness. There is eternal value in godliness because we can walk with the Lord and be satisfied in Him. Further, there is abundant grace and joy when our lives reflect and witness God’s great call to godliness to all those around us.
Are we ready to give up our ways for God’s?
Lord, please forgive me when I live out a double life and dual personality. Make me a whole man who strives for godliness. Only when I can walk with You and relate with You, there is true joy and satisfaction. Please do not let me live in ignorance of this truth. The world will always try to pull me away from the truth of Christ, but may Your truth work and change me to grow wholly in godliness. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.