In today’s society, the concept of growing old often carries negative connotations. Age is given an exaggerated importance, overshadowing the opportunities that remain untried, the love left unshared, and the lives dismissed too soon. Let’s reevaluate the significance of growing old as we explore and embrace a more holistic understanding of life. We read in John 10:10 where John quotes the words of Jesus, “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” We can live a life of purpose.
This article explores how overemphasizing growing old can be counterproductive, limiting our potential for abundant life, putting a heavier burden on society, and putting a damper on joyful living for all ages. As a society, are we overemphasizing growing old rather than discovering abundant life?
How to Live a Joyful and Abundant Life
1. Age is Given Too High a Priority
Society often associates growing old with decline and loss, perpetuating the belief that youth is superior to old age. However, this perspective overlooks the inherent value and wisdom that come with age. Rather than fixating on the physical aspects of aging, we are encouraged to appreciate the beauty of each stage of life. The Bible teaches us to honor the elderly, to recognize their experiences and to seek wisdom from their journeys. By emphasizing growing old as a negative phase, we miss the opportunity to tap into the deep wells of knowledge and insight that older individuals possess. We often cheat ourselves and do not learn from their mistakes, nor do we implement the wise counsel available in the older generation. Indeed, in itself, age is given too high a priority.
2. Opportunities Are Left Untried
Focusing too intently on the limitations associated with aging can lead to missed opportunities. Missed opportunities are detrimental not only for the aged, but also may deprive the young from gleaning wisdom from this mountain of experiences, of trials, successes, and proven theories endured by the older generation. We often disregard a myriad of methods for problem solving and methods of innovation that have already been proven to culminate in successful end results.
Christian thinking reminds us that God’s plans for us do not expire with age.
Regardless of our stage in life, we are called to pursue our passions, contribute to society, and make a positive impact on our world. By embracing this perspective, the aging generations can break free from the constraints imposed by society while exploring new paths, regardless of our age. The aging person may be fearful of dismissal by a younger manager with the result that opportunities are left untried. Great ideas are not always entertained, simply because they are presented by someone regarded as a has-been. Understanding the benefits derived by combining contributions from every age group is key to success.
3. Love Not Shared
One of the most tragic consequences of overemphasizing growing old is the missed opportunity to share love. Love not shared diminishes us all. Love knows no age limits, and its transformative power can be experienced and expressed throughout our lives. The Christian faith emphasizes the importance of love in all relationships, urging us to cultivate compassion, forgiveness, and empathy. By recognizing that love has no expiration date, we can nurture and deepen our connections with others, bringing joy, healing and purpose to our lives and the lives of those around us.
As aging believers in salvation through faith in the savior, Jesus Christ, we look for fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, benefitting both ourselves and those with whom we have contact. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is evidence that growth in faith should certainly not be contained but rather disseminated throughout our communities and worlds. Love not shared means deprivation for all.
4. Lives Too Soon Dismissed
Overemphasizing growing old can lead to prematurely dismissing the lives and inherent contributions of older individuals. Ageism, the prejudice or discrimination based on age, robs society of the rich tapestry of experiences and contributions that older individuals possess. Each life, regardless of age, holds inherent worth and significance. Christian thinking reminds us that every person is created in the image of God and has a purpose.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. By valuing the lives of older adults and recognizing their unique gifts, we can create a society that cherishes the wisdom and contributions of all its members. Valuing all life is a testament of our being valuable and loved, and responding in like fashion. We understand that we are all valuable and loved because we are God’s children. Lives too soon dismissed to the back burner rob all of us of the great respect for, the valuation of, and sanctity of a human life.
Overemphasizing growing old restricts our ability to experience abundant life.
Christian thinking invites us to challenge societal norms and rediscover the value, purpose and potential inherent in every stage of life. By prioritizing wisdom over physical appearance, by embracing new opportunities, by sharing love unconditionally, and by recognizing the worth of every life, we can break free from the limitations imposed by society. As followers of Christ, we are called to live life to the fullest, empowering ourselves and others to fulfill our God-given destinies. Let us reject the overemphasis on growing old and rather embrace the vibrant and abundant life that is available to us at any age.
To clarify the answer as to how we can have the abundant life God promises, watch the video GREAT NEWS on this page. Find out more about God’s great love for you and for me.