Timothy, as Paul suggests, has a “newness” that Paul wants him to overcome. Paul points to Timothy’s “youth” as the grounds of the possibility of others dismissing or looking down on Timothy. Youth itself, for Paul, is not a symbol of virtue. In other words, being young does not mean that one is good, innocent, or free from the responsibility of doing good. Accordingly, Paul communicates that Timothy is responsible for others not dismissing him by commanding Timothy to “let no man despise your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12). Youth, newness, or ignorance, for Paul, are not excuses for anyone to behave like a child. Paul expects Timothy to work hard to live righteously and contemplate God’s words to counter such “youth” (2 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 2:15 2 Tim. 2:22). Although “being young” introduces some challenges, these challenges are no excuse not to attempt to overcome them. Youth (whether it is newness to the idea of God or newness to the faith) is not the end; it is instead like a step one should work hard to overcome.

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