THE SINS OF OLD AGE
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Frequently in scripture young people are warned against “the sins of youth” such as temptation, runaway passion, promiscuity and greed. (Proverbs 4) Paul wrote to young Timothy and challenged him to “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (II Timothy 2:22 NIV)
But what of “the sins of old age?” You know – that age when the candles begin to cost more than the cake! Certainly, older people are not beyond the point of sinning. What are some of the sins of old age? Sins of which they seem more susceptible. Generally speaking, during the twilight years of one’s life, people have more time on their hands. These idle hours can become breeding ground for gossip, negativity and resentment. (I Tim. 4:7) Idle people are more susceptible to allowing the seeds of hurtful past encounters to produce bitterness and unforgiveness.
Just as Solomon warned young people to guard against the sins of youth, we too must warn our aging saints to guard against the sins of old age. Once they take root they sap our joy, tarnish our testimony, and make us less than inviting to be around. Who wants to hang out with crotchety old people? So, what’s the remedy?
It is found in Jude 20, 21. The writer says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV)
Note that Jude does not say “keep on loving God.” He says, “Keep yourselves in God’s love.” Just as we keep ourselves in health by eating right and exercising; and keep ourselves informed by staying abreast family and world news - Jude is challenging us to “keep ourselves in the love of God.” We do this by keeping in regular touch with Jesus, and by not allowing bitterness, unforgiveness, trouble, pain, selfishness, or any other thing to distance us from the love of God. We must live in the atmosphere of God’s love - “guarding our heart with all diligence for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov. 4:23) It’s a big order! And it takes work. But God has promised us his help.
Jude concludes his letter with these words. “And now to HIM who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his presence, fresh and celebrating - to our one God, our only Saviour, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Amen.” (Jude 24, 25 The Message)
Faith that’s rooted in love, “takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts in God, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” (I Cor. 13:6-7 The Message)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group
Romans 8:35, 38-39; I Corinthians 13; Proverbs 17:25; 22:4-5; Psalm 138:1-3,