How to Grow Old Gracefully By Robert C. Archer
Old age defined • “A state of mind bounded on the north by resignation on the east by memory, on the south by understanding and on the west by service.” W. R. Jones • Resignationmeans you are recognizing that aging is part of life. • Memorymeans that you try to keep your mind active. • Understandingmeans that you are not locked into the past and that you try to understand the viewpoints of others • Servicemeans that you are willing to use your experience and talents for others. • He says that when one of these factors is missing then life is abnormal.
Advantages of growing old • Wisdom • Proverbs 16:31 (NKJV) 31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.
Advantages of growing old • Maturity • Titus 2:1-3 (NKJV) 1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
Advantages of growing old • A longing for heaven • Philippians 1:23-30 (NKJV) 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. • Revelation 22:20 (NKJV) 20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Challenges as we grow old • Poor health (Eccl. 12:1-7)
Challenges as we grow old • Staying committed • 1 Kings 11:4 (NKJV) 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
Challenges as we grow old • Pride • Ecclesiastes 4:13 (NKJV) 13 Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
Challenges as we grow old • Becoming self-centered • Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV) 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Challenges as we grow old • Becoming bitter, cynical • Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV) 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; • “Some, old women and men grow bitter with age. The more their teeth drop out the more biting they get.” (George Dennison Prentice)
Challenges as we grow old • Becoming overly critical • Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV) • 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. • 2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
How to grow old gracefully • Be vibrant like Moses • Deuteronomy 34:7 (NKJV) 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.
How to grow old gracefully • Be committed like Joshua • Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) 15 "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. '
How to grow old gracefully • Be optimistic like Caleb • Joshua 14:12 (NKJV) 12 "Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the LORD said."
How to grow old gracefully • Be a worker like Dorcas • Acts 9:36 (NKJV) 36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.
How to grow old gracefully • Be a leader like Peter • 1 Peter 5:1-2 (NKJV) 1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
How to grow old gracefully • Be faithful like Paul • 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NKJV) 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.