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Job 12: 12

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?

Have you ever felt or thought that the United States, as a country, is getting dumb? It certainly seems that way at times and now I know why. We have abandoned our aged. We treat them all as if they are all senile, call them “old man” and “old woman” expressing great disrespect. Not only that but they are beginning to believe the propaganda too.

When I was young I remember hearing that older people were the source of wisdom for us. Young people have energy and enthusiasm and older folks have wisdom and experience. When we combine them we have a very good mix. But something untoward has happened in our society. A lie has been allowed to establish itself in our culture and the effects are, frankly, devastating. Rather than older people being honored and celebrated, they have become the targets of derision. This dynamic hurts both the young people and the older people. Worst of all, it has severely damaged our society. Young people think they know everything but I look back at what a bonehead I was and am clear that the wisdom of young people is suspect if not completely absent.

Now this is not an attack on youth. Nor should I be read to say that I believe young people are without intelligence. It is just that we have cut off one of our hands by the way we neglect and denigrate the older segment of our population. This maltreatment of the senior members of our society and our negative thoughts and expectations about their capacity is crippling our society. Its damage can be seen in the family, in our churches and certainly in the main stream culture.

Today’s scripture leads one to conclude that youth is not the repository of wisdom. There is an adage that wisdom comes from experience. That’s true but the real wisdom, that which is infallible, comes from experience with the Father. The longer we walk with God, the wiser we become. So, those who have walked with God for a long time are a tremendous source of wisdom and guidance. And we must learn to take advantage of it which begins with honoring those who are our seniors. Part of honoring them is showing them respect.

Consider, please, a new trend in our society. Once a person reaches 50 or 60 years of age they and others begin to expect their minds to deteriorate. This is even true of Christians. Have we never read 1 Corinthians 2: 16? “We have the mind of Christ.” And I will promise you that Jesus is not senile and he isn’t losing his mind.

This is my entreaty. I would that we would have a renovation of our thinking. It begins with how we think about and act towards our more senior citizens. Secondly, I pray that we would begin to think differently about ourselves. If we expect our minds to begin slipping as we age then guess what, they will begin to slip. If, however, we expect to be strong of mind and body until the day we step into heaven then we will be strong. Remember, Moses didn’t even begin his ministry until he was 80 years old. If you are not yet 80 then you have time yet to prepare for when life begins. You are still in training. Get wisdom. It comes with walking with God. Then you will be prepared for the work that God wants to do with you.

But mostly, stop thinking negative thoughts. Stop expecting yourself and others to develop memory problems. Cease the negative confessions of your mouth. If you don’t desire to be senile then get senility out of your mouth. And for all of our sakes, do not put that curse on everyone around you by spewing that negativity out on them. It is a really, really rude thing to do. If you love your friends and family, speak life to them, speak wholeness. Shalom.

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