Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. (2 Kings 11:21)

“SO DAD, YOU’VE ACTUALLY been alive for seven decades.” My daughter was being cute, pointing out that because I’d been born in the final month of the 1950s and survived to see the first sunrise of 2010, my lifespan had touched seven ten-year spans, even if only by a few days.

“I’m learning as I go,” I told her. “Think how smart I must be now.”

One of the discoveries of middle age is the realization that many of the current leaders, thinkers, and doers are much younger than oneself. It’s remarkably easy to parrot the line we’ve all heard from our elders, “Well, in my day . . .”

Yet age is neither a qualification nor a disqualification from leadership. Joash was only seven years old when he became king, yet his reign produced a revival of faith. As the apostle Paul reminds us through his advice to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (2 Tim. 4:12). Holiness, not age, is what qualifies a leader for ministry.

Is there a leader you have thought was too young to be effective, or was effective simply because of youth? Look at life and faith, not age. One is never too young or too old to be holy.

Seek out a younger person today, and listen.

Lawrence W. Wilson is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy (WPH) and coauthor of The Long Road Home (WPH). He lives in central Indiana and blogs at

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.