Usually in January I like to take a look at the list of new words and most popular words and phrases from the past year. You probably heard the one that made the national news from Collins Dictionary for 2017, “Fake news.” It was not a new phrase but one that became mainstreamed in 2017.
But there was another word that caught my attention as a “Word of the year” in 2017 according to Oxford Dictionary. The word is “youthquake.” It is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.” It is not a new word, but it has been brought to the fore again.
Obviously, it is one of those words that could be used in a positive or negative way. Since we hear enough negativity associated with today’s youth, let’s go the positive route. Thankfully we do not have to look far to find young people who are making a positive difference with their lives- - but that is nothing new!
We can turn back through the pages of Bible history to over 600 years before Jesus was born. There we find a time period when God’s people were living in dark and bleak spiritual circumstances because they had sold out to idolatry. God became so appalled by their sins He declared, “I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle” (2 Kings 21:12).
But not so long thereafter an eight-year-old boy was made king by the name of “Josiah.” Unlike his ancestors who had reigned before him, he devoted his heart to God. While he was still in his teens he began a series of reforms among God’s people that made him one of the most outstanding leaders ever. The record says, “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:25). No doubt, Josiah started a youthquake in his day!
Turning to the New Testament, we learn of another young man whom Paul urged to be a youthquake. His name was Timothy. Paul wrote, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Like Josiah, Timothy also spawned a youthquake!
What is the message? Our youth still have the ability to make a powerful impact on our world for good. So, young people, be a youthquake for God!