What should our perspective be on growing older?
Someone asked, Many people—both young and old—dread aging. What should our perspective be on growing older?
First, realize that fifty isn’t old, neither is sixty. Seventy and eighty don’t have to be old either. Your mindset is much more important than your age. But if God keeps you here long enough to really get old, then be grateful you’ve lived so long! And determine to enjoy every day, month, and year that God gives you. Remember, if He didn’t have a purpose for you here, you wouldn’t be here.
Most societies venerate the elderly. Think of the experience and wisdom the older person has gained in all his or her years of life. They have so much to offer others. I love to be around older people—that is, older people who have sweetened with age, not those who have soured. Choose which you’d rather be.
As you grow older, you can be one of those godly old saints people love to be around. The more you’ve walked with the Lord the more you’ll have to offer your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and church family.
No matter your age, remember that who you are is rooted in Christ and who He has made you, not in your outward appearance or performance. Rehearse the fact that the most important part of your life is the part that only God sees. His deepest concern is about the inner you. True beauty is inner beauty, and it does not diminish but deepens as you grow older and your friendship with Him develops.
I won’t pretend that growing old is easy. It isn’t. But there is still something beautiful about it for the Christian. There are always people to share your life with—people to help and people to help you. And with you is your God, who knew you before birth and will take you through death to the glory of His presence. Robert Browning’s words can be applied to our relationships with our loved ones and with God:
Grow old with me; The best is yet to be.
The last of life, For which the first was made.
And in fact, for believers, more accurate poetic lines would be,
The best is yet to be,
The next of lives, For which the first was made.
The last of our life before we die is in fact not the last of our life! We’ll go right on living in another place. And one day, in the resurrection, we’ll live again on Earth, a life so rich and joyful that this life will seem impoverished in comparison. Millions of years from now we’ll still be young.
In our society many people look to cosmetic surgeries, implants, and other methods to remodel and renovate their crumbling bodies. We hold to youthfulness with a white-knuckled grip. Ultimately it’s all in vain. But the gospel promises us eternal youthfulness, health, beauty, and happiness in the presence of our God and our spiritual family. It’s not ours now—but it will be, in the resurrection of the dead.