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Paraphrased for youth workers

Though I lecture with eloquence and use big words, but have not love, I am a discordant sound whom youth will not hear.

If I am extremely wise and have an answer for each youth’s problems, but do not listen, I am of little help.

If I give all I possess to aid the youth group and use varied learning techniques, yet do not give of myself or my time, I am nothing.

Love for youth is patient; it allows a youth to grow at his own pace. Love for youth is kind, it remembers the frailty of young self-esteem. It does not envy — another worker’s popularity or that of a youth leader. It does not boast of spirituality, but is consistent in its practice. It is not proud of accomplishments, but ever seeks to learn better ways to reach youth and better methods to teach youth.

It is not rude; it does not interrupt when a youth is sharing. It is not self-seeking; it does not want to be noticed or praised for a job well done. It is not easily angered when youth do not sit down or settle down to study. It keeps no record of the times youth say and do things to hurt, or of times youth stray.

Love does not delight when youth gossip about another, or get into trouble, but rejoices when a youth grasps the meaning of a lesson being taught.

Love always trusts the youth with assignments given and truths revealed. Love always hopes for the potential to be reached in youth. Love always perseveres even when working with youth is hard and seemingly fruitless.

Love for youth never fails; if it does, it was not fed by God’s unconditional love. Remember all our teaching will cease, our activities will be stilled, our knowledge will pass away.

We are incomplete in our abilities as workers with youth; but when Christ comes, we will all be complete.

When I was a child, I acted childishly and needed guidance. When I became an adult I put away childish behavior and chose to guide youth.

Now we are clouded in our attempts of leadership, nor do we always see results, but one day we will see, face to face, the one who called us, and the fruit of our labors. And we shall know our youth as we cannot know them now.

Of all we do for youth–teaching, guiding, loving; it is the love they will remember.

Sharon Gresham – Source Unknown

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