Growing old - Hope 103.2

Growing old

By David ReayThursday 19 Feb 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Job 32:6-9

6 Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,

        “I am young and you are old,

          so I held back from telling you what I think.
7      I thought,’Those who are older should speak,
          for wisdom comes with age.’
8      But there is a spirit within people,
          the breath of the Almighty within them,
          that makes them intelligent.
9      Sometimes the elders are not wise.
          Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. (NLT)

We often hear about the wisdom acquired in old age. Younger people are counselled to respect the wisdom of their elders which has been acquired through much experience. This can be true: there can be an arrogant youthfulness which figures it knows all there is to know and that older people are somehow past it when it comes to living life.

Then again,as Elihu says in our passage today,growing old doesn’t automatically make us wise or good. In fact,growing old can make us crotchety and bitter. It can be that the process of ageing can bring out the worst as well as the best in us.

We may know older people who are models of grace and wisdom: their age has simply brought these ongoing characteristics into sharper focus. However,we may also know of older people whose less desirable characteristics have become accentuated as they have grown older. Anger and prejudice and fear have silted up their emotional arteries so they are not pleasant people to be around.

So we dare not romanticise old age or assume it brings wisdom with it. Being wise and good is always a choice we make. May we grow old in such a way that others will be glad to be with us rather than running a mile from us.

David Reay