Not their experimentation, but rather mine. Having raised my own two daughters and now being the spiritual mom of many others in the teen ministry I’m pretty sure, then and now, I’ve treated it like a weird science experiment. I’ll add a little Word, a little conversing, an illustration or two and “poof” let’s see what happens. My poor girls went through several years of me being an unsaved mom doing the experimentation without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and for that grace I’m just glad they survived. But post salvation, raising kids, working with youth and now having grandchildren, my experimentation is a lesson in the chemistry of God’s word. So is life in general really.
No matter your age, being that age is irrelevant in the coming Kingdom, we’re forever in the learning process of living. Some just learn faster and with less experimenting than others. Me, I’m always adding a new chemical compound to the mix to see if the results are any different. It’s usually followed by KABOOM! But I’m more cautious with the ministry knowing that I’m held to a greater accountability in Christ Jesus.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
1 Timothy 4:12-16
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these thing; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
In the book of 1 Timothy Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy as a young man serve to remind me as I serve youth, and live my own life, I’m living as an example. Anything that I add to the mix of someone else’s life can change that life for the positive or negative regarding their end result. When giving illustrations from my own life and past mistakes I try to be very careful that I don’t glamorize stupidity. It sounds crazy but I’ve seen it so often when someone is telling a tale of their youth and it sounds fun! Yes it was. Right up until the point where you could have died. Let me make sure not to leave that tidbit of information out, and about the regret I feel now having been a bad example for my friends rather than a good one. Youth is not to be despised, we and they will make mistakes. But don’t ever forget to remind them and us that we’re the standard by which the world measures Christ.
I am for certain a lover of all things shiny. If it sparkles I am captivated, which can get me into serious trouble. But it can also work to my advantage in that I also like to shine! I want to be entertaining (for the glory of Christ, not self). I don’t want to say look at me, look at me! I want to say look at Christ in me! Look what He’s done for me! Because of the experimentation of someone else on this earth who was willing to invest some time and energy into me, I now serve a Mighty and Awesome God! And serving Him should stimulate others to have that same desire if I’m doing it right. Humdrum Christians bother me… just sayin’.
Of every gift and ability we’ve been given we’re going to be accountable that it was used for the purpose of the Kingdom. Paul told Timothy to meditate on those things.
Have you thought about the gifts within you? Are you aware that they should be shiny and evident so that people can see what Christ is doing in your life and in so doing you may have the opportunity to see their salvation? I know virtually nothing about chemistry. Science was not my forte. But I know Jesus! And I know that anytime He is mixed into the equation success is imminent. And so I keep on keeping on in the ministry, because just so you know… you are my experiment!
2 Corinthians 9:13
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;