“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
This passage is a section of God’s call to Jeremiah to serve as a prophet. At the time God called Jeremiah, he was young. Jeremiah was reluctant to serve as a prophet. God tells Jeremiah that he was born for this purpose. Long before Jeremiah was born, God chose him to be born this time for this purpose. This is very encouraging to know we are alive today and are at this place not by accident but by divine purpose. We are a result of divine meticulous planning. No aspect of your life is an accident. Our fortunes and misfortunes are on divine schedule for a grand and better purpose. As fortunes and misfortunes interchange their time in our life, we must learn to trust God.
Jeremiah was between ages 17 and 20 when God called him. Jeremiah was afraid of taking up the role. He told God that the reason he was politely turning down the assignment given was that he was young. He felt he needed to grow up and mature a little bit so that he can do God’s work. Jeremiah says that because of his age he does not know how to speak. An adult would be careful about what to say and how to say it. A young person may mess up with an inappropriate choice of words and methods. Yet God wanted to have a young person do it. Probably mature people had been too careful to the extent that they failed in appropriately delivering God’s word. Now God wanted a young person who would just do His bidding.
There is an age to serve as a priest and when to retire. Priesthood is following services, laid down rules, and administration. The Elder and deacon too have an age in which they can serve. There is a need for maturity in order to meet the qualifications given for priest, elder, and deacon. But when it comes to the highest office of just speaking for God, the office of the prophet, all ages have been enlisted as God wished. Samuel was young when God called him. Jesus was only 12 as He spoke for God. Paul was a mature scholar when he took up the ministry. There is time and type of duty that does not have age limits on who can serve.
When Jeremiah says he is too young, he is limiting an assignment that God has never limited to age. God immediately responds by telling him not to say that he is too young. To say you are too young is to suggest that God has made a wrong choice. God does not make mistakes when He chooses young or old. Since God doesn’t make mistakes, do not say that you are too young!
To say that you are too young means, you think and believe you will do this work by yourself and therefore you need maturity and experience. Yet the work will be done by God through you. If God is working through you, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Therefore do not say that you are too young!
God has had confidence in you and has chosen you. Do not defeat yourself by thoughts of inadequacy. God says you are adequate, how can you discourage yourself by saying you are too young? Avoid negativity. Avoid self-limiting. You cannot make progress if you already believe you are defeated. If you believe you are too young, you will fail because you believe you can’t succeed. Be positive when taking up any assignment. Do not speak negatively about yourself and to yourself. Do not say that you are too young!
Once you say that you are too young, what can you do after that talk? What will you achieve after convincing yourself that this is a job for adults and you are too young? Haven’t you set yourself up for failure? To say you are too young is to accept failure before attempting. That is why God responds instantly and authoritatively silences Jeremiah’s negativity by ordering him never ever to say that he is too young!
Too young and similar responses are the reason behind failures. Moses too had that approach of focusing on the negative. Moses said he is a stammerer. God reminds him that He is the creator who made mouths, tongues, and ears. God is seriously offended by negative self-talk. God wants us to be positive and proud of ourselves. Don’t talk negatively about your body size, skin color, abilities, background, or whatever else you think will give you a poor start compared to others. God does not like that negativity for it shows a lack of faith in God. Do not say that I am too young!
By the grace of God, this is the end of all negativity and negative talk. If God doesn’t want us to say it to Him or ourselves, we shouldn’t discourage anyone. We should be positive and trust God. Do not listen to negativity and negative talk from others, switch off and focus on the positive, nothing is impossible with God who chose you. May God grant us positivity and success, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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