“Let No One Despise You Because of Your Youth!”

Ruthie McMiller and Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III


1 Timothy 4: 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.[1]

Ruthie McMiller surprised me Sunday.  Ruthie lives in Pennsylvania, but she is from Detroit.  Ruthie grew up in my church.  As a fifth grader, she was the first person to receive a free computer as part of the Computer Mission of our church.  The Greg and Marie Moses computer Mission was created to encourage inner city youth in Detroit to strive for academic excellence.  Ruthie carried a 4.0 grade average and was the standard bearer for our Computer Mission.  When our youngest son left for college, Ruthie came to live with us during her ninth grade year in high school.  Her mother and four siblings had moved to Pennsylvania and her mom let her stay with us for the remainder of the ninth grade.

I don’t see much of Ruthie now.  Easter Sunday, she walked up to me and said, “Hello, Rev. Hood.”  I did not recognize the grown young woman standing in front of me.  Neither did I recognize her mother.  However, as I listened to her voice, I knew exactly who she was, “Little Ruthie.”  “Little Ruthie” is no longer little.  She is a grown woman who has a small business in Pennsylvania and has come into her own.  I am so proud of Ruthie and I am proud that Denise and I are part of her life-path.

As I think of Ruthie, I think about the words of Paul to Timothy, his young protégé:

1 Timothy 4: 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. [2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Paul tells Timothy to not let anyone, “Despise your youth”?
  2. What are some of the reasons why some might despise one’s youth?



Lord, bless the youth.  Bless the youth and young adult with good values, good principals with ambition and drive to change the world.  Lord, bless our young with courage, commitment and confidence to strive for the best, hope for the best and do the best they can be.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Deacon Clifford Rockefeller

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ti 4:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ti 4:11–16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.