Defy your age!


adult helping senior in hospitalWatch TV for more than a few minutes (without fast forwarding through the commercials because you’ve DVR’d it) and you’ll see a commercial heralding some cream, lotion, exercise, device, or apparatus as the next “fountain of youth”.

I’m “that guy” who always asks “why?” and “what’s the endgame?”.  And when I turn that lens towards these commercials, the message it sends is pretty simple—I bet you get the message even if you’re not on the OCD side of analyzing messages—young is good and old is bad.  Is that true?

If you’re a Christian as most of my readers are, then we have another angle to see something beyond the cultural one.  We have to ask what the Bible thinks of these messages.  Here’s another where the Bible has more to say on the subject.  And it’s not what you think.  We read in Proverbs 20:29:

The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.

Culture tells us defying our age and looking “Forever 21” is the preferred state to be in.  Religious folks tell us “old is better”.  The Biblical truth: neither is condemned. Both are praised.

But it’s still not that simple.  This Proverb is presented as a paired statement.  In other words, these are complimentary ideas.  They need each other to find fulfillment.  Read that slowly: they need each other to find fulfillment.

From the young we gain drive, strength, and the relentless press against the word “impossible.”  From the old we gain wisdom, perspective, and counsel.

In His wisdom, the Lord has provided a great treasure chest in our lives in multiple generations.  What a loss to us if we fail to take advantage of these resources.  The young are apt to rely on sheer exercise of power and stamina while the older have learned restraint and patience.  Both are needed.

And nowhere do we get more sideways on this than in the church.  We believe that only by separating every generation from the others can we adequately meet their “needs”.  Scripture, it seems, disagrees.

If you place yourself in the “young” category, know the great advantage you bring to the table. If you place yourself in the “old” category, know the great advantage you bring to the table.  My advice?  Find each other.  Learn from each other.  Show the world how Christians value the entire spectrum of human life, from its spark at conception to the passage into eternity via the grave.

And in finding each other and depending on our cross-generational bonds, we all can defy our age.