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Aging With Responsibility

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Do you own your age, or blame your age? When someone asks you to participate in some endeavor, is your first thought that you are too old to even contemplate such a thing? Or, do you answer with, “Sure, I’ll give it a try” or “I’d be happy to”?

Sometimes seniors are quick to proclaim that young people shirk responsibility blaming everyone and everything. When youth get into trouble we might be tempted to say that they refuse to own their behavior. Johnny made me do it or Suzie said it would be ok. However, when we take a moment to unpack how we are responding ourselves we must listen to exactly what we’re saying. Hearing our own response ability is key. We gotta get that plank out of our own eye before we can point out someone else’s. (Matthew 7:3-5)

The bag of gold parable is about a master who entrusts his servants with his money while he is travelling. (Matthew 25:14-30) He gives each of the three servants a specific amount according to their ability. The first was given five talents of gold, one two talents, and the last was given one. Servants one and two doubled the money for their master but the last servant dug a hole and hid the money until his master returned. You can guess the outcome. The master was delighted by the stewardship of the first two servants, but because the last servant was lazy and afraid his gold was given to the others. When we are faithful with what we have, more will be given. (vs29) As seniors, our ability may not be what it once was, but our Heavenly Father already knows that. He gives according to what we are able to do. It’s our responsibility to make the most of it.

“I’ll pray about it” might also be a common response but perhaps it allows us an excuse to avoid doing what we know we can to improve the situation. Let’s just pass the buck to God. After all who would argue with that reply? Moreover, when I do petition God for something do I ask Him what’s my part in this, what does He require me to do, or do I just quickly step aside waiting for Him to work? However, I need to do the small things He asks of me before I should expect Him to work on my behalf in the bigger stuff. God often asks us to plant because there can be no harvesting if we don’t. This part is our job even if we never see the outcome. So we must be always ready to show love, whatever that looks like, to our friend, neighbour, family members and grandchildren. And if you have no grandchildren, mentor someone anyway. I cannot express the tremendous impact that several key Christian men made in my own son’s life. Honestly it was huge! They were obedient when God called them to get involved and we will be forever grateful. There is usually some role to fulfill first if we look, and then indeed we do need to pray. But as grandparents we must realize that prayer alone does not relieve us from the hands on, role model, parent supporters we are meant to be. That is our responsibility. Maybe the small tasks he entrusts us with before he gives us the bigger ones come in the form our own little people…

As my children grew up I admit I covered for them at times. I shouldn’t have but I did. I didn’t do it often because I was a tough love kinda mom. I soon realized they learned absolutely nothing if I stood in the gap for them so I more often let them suffer their own consequences for their own choices. I think our Heavenly Father does that with us. There is usually only one best way to teach us. Human being are stubborn. I’m not saying He causes things to happen to us but I believe with free will He allows us to be taught through our lack of responsibility and ownership.

God gives Christians significant and extremely important individual responsibilities. The 10 Commandments is the standard. Beyond that, the Bible has loads to say about idleness and work (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12), stewardship and managing well the resources He has given us (Genesis 2:15), caring for others and for family (1 Peter 4:10), and the Golden Rule in Luke 6:31. Notice none of these verses admonish us to comply only until we are old. You can’t retire from God’s calling. “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing,” Psalm 92:14 I love that! It’s exciting and so encouraging!

“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” Ezra 10:4

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