The culture of the United States is notorious for its obsession with youth, health, beauty, and strength. That’s how we measure the worth of others; that’s how we believe that people measure ours. We fear the aging process and grieve over each new wrinkle and gray hair. We collect aging jokes, laughing nervously because we’re so afraid of becoming old, disabled and forgetful, helpless and incontinent.
There’s a better way to live. Since we know we are immortal, we don’t have to see the aging process as stealing all our reasons for living. Each day we live is a step closer to heaven. We can accept ourselves as we are, and even more important, we can give value and worth to the seniors who are ahead of us in age. “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:32).
Did you know that this is a spiritual issue? The attitude you show the elderly shows what you think of God. We owe much of our lives to the older generation. Their hard work, sacrifice, values, patience, suffering, and determination bequeathed us our government, churches, community organizations, and schools.
Listen to their stories. Value their opinions and philosophy. Appreciate their work. Make them feel important. In so doing, you will be revering your God.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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