Encourage the Elderly
A devotional thought from Rey De Armas from “Honor Your Parents”
Read: 1 Timothy 5:1-2
In your congregation, there are probably people who have been following Jesus for years. They are reaping the rewards of maturity that come through successes and failures in a well-lived spiritual life. It is an honor to sit at their feet and learn from their experience. They see things differently than those of us who are raising young families and children. Their perspective on problems is different. Many no longer seek to impress those who surround them because they have already seen the futility of doing so. Now, they deem themselves closer to meeting God and seek His approval now more than ever. Trends do not affect them, because so many have come and gone. They are valuable to God and therefore should be valuable to us.
Here are three ways that you can exhort the elderly in your church. First, listen to their story. Find out how they became a follower of Christ. I always find it inspiring and encouraging to hear about how and when people began following Christ and how their lives have changed since.
Second, ask them for input. As this passage points out, rather than rebuking the elderly, honor them. A great way to honor them is by asking them how they would approach a certain spiritual issue. You can gain insight into difficult decisions by getting their perspective on how a follower of Jesus should handle your situation.
Third, visit them often. Christian community should belong to the elderly as well. We were created to live in relationship with God and with each other. Take time to give the gift of your presence to the elderly in your church. It can serve as a valuable witness to those they are trying to win to Christ.
As we honor those who are older than us, we honor God. Let’s make every effort to love the elderly in our churches.
Pause and Reflect:
• Have you pursued relationships with any elderly saints? If so, how have these relationships benefitted your walk with Christ? If not, why do you think this is the case?
• In light of 1 Timothy 5:1-2, what do you think about the lack of interaction in local churches between older generations and younger generations? What does this say about how the culture might be affecting the church?