The Old Folks

Introduction:

   More than 40 years ago, I was combing my hair before a mirror when I noticed what appeared to be a little silver therein.  I just could not believe it!  So, I called for my wife Charlotte to verify my finding.  Sure enough, it was a grey hair!  How could such a thing happen unto me? 

   Seriously, grey hair can be a badge of honor when a person conducts his self with dignity.  In less than one year, I will have reached my 70th year.  Other than a few aches and pains, I am getting along just fine considering the shape that I am in.  Also, it seems that as the years go by, Charlotte mumbles a lot and does not speak out as loud as she once did.

Discussion:

I.                   A PERSON SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED OF BEING OLD.

A.    Some people actually bemoan the fact that they are old and try to hide their age.

1.      They try to hide their age with cosmetics, the way they dress, by dyeing (tinting) their hair, and even by plastic facial surgery (getting a face lift).

2.      However, it is just as natural to be old as it is to be young.  After all, we know what the alternative would be.                                 

B.    Grey hair and advanced years are an honor to a righteous person.

Proverb 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength:  and the beauty of old men is the grey head.”

II.                AN OLDER PERSON ORDINARILLY CAN NOT DO AS MUCH PHYSICALLY AS A YOUNG PERSON.

A.    Our physical body ages along with our chronological years.

John 21:18, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest:  but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”

B.    With this in mind, younger brethren should not be too critical of older members of the church.

C.    There is an old saying, “You are as young as you feel!”  Perhaps more than anything else, our wellbeing is directly related to a quality of mind.

1.      A truism is that what we do not use we lose.  Thus, we need to keep our minds actively involved in worthwhile endeavors.  Continually meditating upon the inspired Word of God should be a top priority in obtaining and retaining a quality of mind.

2 Pet. 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen.”

Proverb 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”

III.             HOW SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE TREAT OLDER MEN?

Lev. 19:32, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God:  I am your Lord.

A.    Young people should always respect and honor older men because of their experience, wisdom, and seniority. 

1.      As a child, I was taught to say:  “yes Sir!” and “no Sir!” to a man; and “yes Ma’am!” and “no Ma’am!” to a woman.

2.      Also, my mother would scold me if I only called a sibling of hers or my dad’s by their first name.  They were to be addressed as Uncle or Aunt along with their given name.

a. Concerning the prophet Elisha:

2 Kings 2:23-24, “And he went up from thence unto Bethel:  and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord.  And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”

B.    Usually, wisdom through experience is gained with age.  Therefore, the advice of older wiser men should be preferred over the imprudence of the young.

1.      Because Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elderly men who had served his father for the ill advice of his peers, ten of the tribes of Israel rejected him in being king over them (1 Kings 12 and 13).

1 Tim. 5:1, “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father;…”

1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.”

IV.              HOW SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE TREAT OLDER WOMEN?

Proverb 23:22, “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”

A.    The young should respect older women as ladies and with respect.

B.    The children and relatives of a destitute elderly lady should provide for her and not expect the church to do so.

1 Tim. 5:4, “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents:  for that is good and acceptable before God.”

C.    The church does have the responsibility of caring for certain elderly widows who do not have children or relatives to look after them.

1 Tim. 5:9-10, “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.”

V.                 HOW SHOULD OLDER MEN CONDUCT THEMSELVES?

Titus 2:2, “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”

A.    It is a pleasant thing to see an older gentleman who takes genuine pride in himself.

B. An older man without pride is certainly a pitiful sight.

VI.              HOW SHOULD OLDER WOMEN CONDUCT THEMSELVES?

Titus 2:3-5, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

A.    Women who grow more beautiful in character and in conduct as they grow older are a blessing to their husband and descendants, as well as to society.

B.    It is a shame that not all women grow more gracefully in their senior years.

VII.           IT IS SAD WHEN AN OLDER PERSON DOES NOT HAVE ANY CHILDREN OR GRAND CHILDREN.

A.    Timothy’s grandmother Lois was blessed in that her daughter Eunice and her grandson Timothy lived as faithful Christians.

1.      Some women who would really love to have children cannot conceive and bare offspring.

a.       Hannah, wife of Elkanah, was not able to bare a child until the priest Eli said unto her, “Go in peace:  and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him” (1 Sam. 1:17).  She gave birth to a son who became the prophet Samuel.

2.      Other women would rather be social butterflies.  They do not want to bare children in that such women are afraid that it will hurt their figure.

3.      Some women who lack the maternal instinct actually reject their own children.  Often, they give them up for adoption.  Still others either cause their unborn child to be aborted, or murder them after their birth.

B.    Some younger people “adopt” an older person as if they were their parent or grand parent.

1.      These younger folks actually look after an older person as if that person was their parent or grand parent.

Conclusion:

I.                   WE OFTEN EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH, BUT WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET HOW NECESSARY THE OLDER PEOPLE ARE TO THE CHURCH.

A.    We need both the enthusiasm and energy of the young, and the wisdom and counsel of the old. 

1.      God selected Moses, who was 80 years old, to lead the children of Israel.

B.    Let us treasure both the generations above us and those younger than us. 

C.    We remind young people that if they live long enough, some day they will enter their senior years.

D.    Let us pray that as our physical body becomes frail as the years rapidly go by, that our spirit will grow spiritually stronger.

2 Cor. 4:16, “…though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

--Dub Mowery

 

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