Jesus Christ is our ultimate example. He left us not only with what he taught as a 30 year old man, but he also gave us an insight of what should be focused on in the life of a teenager. The importance of finding a Biblical example cannot be stated enough. Paul encouraged the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Godly examples help lead us towards the high prize of Jesus Christ we should be striving to attain.
Out of all the Bible teens (and there are a lot of them!) that could be chosen for their maturity, the one who sticks out the most is David. What made God choose David over his brothers? Before he played a harp for Saul, before he stood up to face Goliath, David is shown to have a quality above other young men.
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Even after his sins of the Old Testament, David is remembered for his HEART. Acts 13:22 tells us that David was always a man after God’s own heart despite his shortcomings. Now, Jesus surely grew in stature physically. That is something we cannot control (cannot add a cubit to our height with any amount of thought), but what can be controlled is the stature of our heart. That is exactly what maturity is: the heart growing in stature. Emotionally and mentally becoming more perfect (mature) in our being. Look at what David did before he slew Goliath as an example of his maturity beyond his teen years:
1. 1 Samuel 17:15 “But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” Jesse was a man with 8 sons. The 3 oldest of Jesse’s sons were off to war. David, the youngest, was working two jobs! And yet who did Jesse ask to deliver the bread, the cheese, and receive his brother’s pledges? David the youngest. Do the math with me, 8 sons total and 3 brothers off to war means Jesse has 5 sons to choose from to accomplish this task. And yet who did Jesse ask to deliver the bread, the cheese, and receive his brother’s pledges? David the youngest.
David demonstrates here his trustworthiness and ability to accomplish a given task with multiple steps. David already had two jobs where he demonstrated his ability to work on his own without distraction. He played the harp for Saul and cared for the sheep. Too many times a young person is strong, intelligent, and looks the part to do a job, but they are too distractible to be given a job.
David was also trusted to deliver something important and receive his brothers wages to bring home. This meant Jesse trusted David with the food and the money. There are a lot of young people God is waiting for to mature in this area of trust in order to give some talents to be used. Too often, a Christian is handed $100 and God just waits to see what they do with it. If they use it wisely, God takes notice and will bless them accordingly. If they use it unwisely, God also takes notice as he sees “the good and the evil.”
2. 1 Samuel 17:20 “And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.” David was capable of accomplishing the task through his self-discipline and experience. Jesse had 5 sons to choose from to do this. Why did he pick David? David showed a maturity beyond what the other brothers were capable of demonstrating and was rewarded with the opportunity of a lifetime: to go to the front line of the battle! How did David show this? David was able to rise up early, delegate the duties of one of this TWO jobs to a keeper, and accomplish the task of delivery.
Think about this next time you read 1 Samuel 17: would you know where to find the keeper of the carriages in an Israeli war camp? Do you know how to find and distinguish the captain of the host? Do you know how to find your way to salute your brethren on the front line? I know I don’t! And yet, we see David had the experience (from working in the King’s house), and the discipline (to rise up and care for his other responsibilities) to accomplish this task.
Pastor Jesse McCammon
Flora Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL
Flora Baptist Church