“In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” 1 Peter 5:5 NLT
The word "Younger" has two applications:
1. Someone younger in their faith who is not in a position of authority, and not mature in their walk with God.
2. Someone younger in age.
I have known believers who were older in years and seasoned in their faith. I have also known believers who were young in age, yet well grounded and more knowledgeable in the things of God than many who were older in age. Jesus was 12 when He baffled the religious "doctors" (KJV) of the time. In Luke 2:41-52 Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Passover. When it was over, Jesus found Himself sitting among the great religious leaders at the temple. He asked questions and also gave answers. O how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in that setting. Jesus astonished the religious leaders, all who were much older than He, humanly speaking. They were older in human age. He was older in Spirit, supernaturally. He was the Ancient of Days (see Daniel 7:9, 13, and 22 and compare it to Revelation 1:7-20). He was "THE ELDER", "THE OVERSEER". He is the ONE we all submit to as the ELDER (see Philippians 2:5-11). I have been a pastor for 25 years (24 years full time). I began the pastorate at age 23. I started preaching at age 12. I was ordained at age 18. I must admit that I have learned many things along the journey. I have had the distinct privilege of pastoring two churches in my tenure and both had pastors previous to me that had been there for 32 (Rev. H. S. Scruggs) and 38 years (Rev. B.C. Jessup). Both previous pastors were in their eighties when I came to the churches. Both former pastors stayed in the congregation. Rev. Scruggs had been preaching since he was 15. He had been preaching three times longer than I had been alive. Here I was, age 23 when I became his pastor. I was 29 when I became pastor of Rev. Jessup. I was still wet behind the ears and yet they respected me and my God given authority. I loved both of these men. Both died in their late nineties. They are now with Jesus. We worked together in the ministry of God's church. We understood each others age, experience, and position. Not all young pastors can navigate through those kind of waters and maintain unity in the church and respect from the former leadership. Wisdom and humility are crucial characteristics in situations such as this. Whether you are a young person respecting your elder (older person - parent, school teacher, etc.) or you are an older person respecting your "elder" (overseer - pastor, employer, boss, etc.), God wants a spirit of humility and an attitude of submission to control your actions. May God give us wisdom and understanding as we work together for His name sake.
Rev. Curtis Norris