One gains perspective with age. It’s not that younger people don’t have valid perspectives; it’s just that they don’t always have enough experience to interpret circumstances in their lives and determine how to best maneuver through them. This became clear to me as I was going through some old photographs of me recently. As I saw pictures of myself in my younger days, I smiled knowing that the woman in those photos could have benefited greatly from the understanding I have today.
It is for this reason that Scripture instructs older men and women to be available to younger ones and to make it a priority (Titus 2). Sure, we all have the Word of God available to us to read, and we can listen to sermons and read commentaries; but there is a blessing that comes when there is someone who can honestly say, “I know what you are talking about. I experienced that in my own life. This is where the Word of God applies.” Thus, having graying hair and more candles on one’s birthday cake is a benefit to the Body of Christ, not a detriment. And for those of us who have years of being a spouse, a parent, a friend, a co-worker, and a brother or sister in the Lord, we not only have something to offer, we are commanded to share what we know and invest in those younger ones around us.
In order to be able to give a good apologetic to one’s faith, along with understanding God’s law and its application in a theological sense, it is important to be able to convey hope. The major apologetics verse comes from 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” If in our interactions with those who come to us for guidance and counsel (and children certainly fall into this category), we don’t convey hope, then we have not done any service at all; in fact, we have done a disservice.
Without living and applying the law of God, there is no possibility of hope. God’s righteousness (justice) is the basis of His infallible law. As the lamp onto our feet and the light of our path (Psalm 119:105), God’s law is the reason we can persevere through the trials and tribulations of life. Jesus’ finished work can be imputed to us because He followed God’s law perfectly. With that laid to our credit, we cannot help but live with hope in the midst of seemingly hopeless situations.
So, if in this season of resolutions and new beginnings you find yourself without hope, I encourage you to pray for someone to come into your life who can serve in the capacity of older believer in the Lord. My guess is that if you look around, there are likely qualified candidates that would serve well. You just have to pursue them. I can tell you from experience, that I appreciate most those who come to me and say, “I need godly counsel. Will you help me?” It is at times like these that I know that the Holy Spirit is behind the request. Rather than being the bother that so many assume they are, they are truly answers to my own prayer that God would use me in this season of my life.
This world we live in can use more Titus 2 men and women. If you perceive that God is calling you to this function, I invite you to consider checking out the Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute. You may discover that that hoary head of yours is in demand in 2015.