For this week’s Monday Minute, Muriel flips convention on its head and challenges us to seek God’s remarkable truth about age and wisdom.
The Remarkable Truth about Age and Wisdom
by Muriel Gregory
I will be celebrating a significant birthday this year. Significant because of the number of candles that will be on the cake. That number is causing me to pause and reflect. A time of introspection and a time to evaluate.
Have I become wiser with age? Does wisdom really come as we get older?
Abigail Van Buren, otherwise known as Dear Abby, cleverly observed that, “Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age. Nothing does – except wrinkles. It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.” I may be wiser today, but I also know that wisdom is from God and not just reserved for the gray-haired ones.
The military life provided me with many opportunities to meet a variety of people. Some with whom I shared lessons learned and many from whose wisdom I benefited. I am forever grateful to have crossed paths with other wives who have “been there – done that.” I am also grateful for the newbies who bring fresh insights and ideas.
Age and Wisdom
My children have received – whether they wanted to or not – the bulk of my deepest thoughts and encouragements. They are now grown up and adults. The truth is that today I gain much from their insights and often their wisdom far surpasses mine.
My middle son is a deep thinker and shares regularly with me the lessons God is teaching him. He currently serves in the Navy and time at sea has allowed him to reflect and ponder. A few months back he shared some of those words with me:
“I am convinced that God would never leave me in a ship with full sails and a strong wind if I wasn’t meant to sail. To lower the sails and watch the wind blow by is an insult to him, he gave me my ship and the wind. He gave me life and a purpose. One may be now better than the other, but I will be damned if I don’t give it my all because the feeling of regret is one of the worst. I just need to learn how to sail properly, reflect, and move on.”
Should I disregard his wisdom because of his age?
“Let no one despise you for your youth,
but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
We do not know how old Timothy was, but one thing was certain, he was younger than Paul and most of the elders in his church. Paul urges him to not allow others to make his age a point of criticism. Instead, he encourages him to allow his gifting to validate his authority.
The Church greatly benefited from his leadership. His youth was not a detriment. The truth is that wisdom is linked to God, not age. James 1:5 says it plainly, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (emphasis mine).
Should I despise someone for their youth? That would not be wise. I want to be a student my whole life and continue to learn with an open mind and an open heart. The Japanese have a term for that: Shoshin. It means “beginner’s mind.” It is an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconception. They claim that it is essential in the practice of wisdom.
I strongly believe that you and I can grow in wisdom together when we learn from one another and do not let age be a hindrance.
Read: Read Proverbs 9: 9-12 in several translations.
Reflect: What is the source of wisdom according to Proverbs 9:9-12? What should my posture be if I want to be wiser still?
Respond: This week seek the wisdom from someone younger. Practice the beginner’s mindset and let go of your preconceptions.
Lord, I am grateful that you and you alone are the source of all the wisdom I need. I pray that I will continue to learn with an open mind and an open heart. Amen.
For more on how the younger generation can impart wisdom, check out Jennifer’s post, Youthful Hearts Teach.