wisdom of the age(d)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…
(Titus 2:3&4)

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Scripture teaches us that there is wisdom that can come with gray hairs.  This is not a popular concept in culture today, where youth is idolized and the elderly are often pushed aside as irrelevant.  One doesn’t have to look far to see what I mean, turning on the TV or flipping through a magazine in the checkout line will do.  Apparently it wasn’t a popular idea over a thousand years ago either when Rehoboam preceded his father King Solomon to the throne.  Foolishness isn’t something new or unique to our culture.

After Rehoboam becomes king, before moving forward, he seeks counsel from the older men, the men who had stood before his father.  Not seeing the wisdom in their words, “he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him”.  Any one familiar with the story knows that this was a bad move on the part of Rehoboam and in the end he pays dearly for his folly, as does all of Israel which as a result is split into the Northern and Southern kingdoms. (2 Chronicles 10)

We too, like Rehoboam, are faced with a decision about whose advice we will follow.  Will we listen to culture and look to our peers and seek their advice when making decisions?  Or, will we look to God’s word and those with experience and wisdom?  Younger people seek out wise older people to help you make important decisions.  Notice I said wise older people, not just older people.  Not all older people are wise, but there is wisdom that can only come from age and experience that younger people simply cannot have.

I was recently transferring some old VHS family videos to DVD and came across a video of my high school graduation party.  Other than the fact that I was amused at how much we’ve all changed and how fashion marches on, I was especially touched by the words of a very special lady, Francis Sprano.  Mrs. Sprano, as we girls called her, was a woman who in her 70’s taught a Wednesday night girls’ class that I attended during my early teenage years.  The advice she gave me the night of my graduation party, like the counsel she had given me all the previous years before, was full of biblical wisdom and truth.  I was encouraged and admonished listening to her words on the video over a decade later.

If you are a Godly older person, live out Titus 2 and find a younger person to share your wisdom and experience with.  Young people don’t often seek out the company of people who don’t look like them, but they need you more than they know.  In my teenage years, I didn’t realize how much I needed the words of Mrs. Sprano.  Sure I liked her and thought she was sweet dressed in her old-fashioned clothes, but I didn’t realize just how valuable the things she was teaching me were.  I can’t tell you how many times during my college and married years her words of wisdom have come to mind and proved helpful and true.  And though I am sad that Mrs. Sprano is no longer someone I can sit down with for advice, she will always be with me in the words she has spoken, her influence reaching far beyond the short time I had with her.

Let’s learn a lesson from Rehoboam and not dismiss the wisdom that can come with gray hair.

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