Growing Older, a Beautiful Thing
“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”— Titus 2: 2-3 Much has been said about the particulars of these verses, but I would like to focus on the beauty and relief of maturity. It is a beautiful thing, the way age seems to mellow us as we grow up and grow older.
By the grace of God, we learn to discern what is important, what really matters. When I was younger, I was very passionate about a lot of issues, but I did not always express myself with much grace, compassion, or gentleness.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted,” says Galatians 6:1.
Life has a way of tenderizing us, making us more gentle and patient with others’ faults and weaknesses.
The list of issues that needed to be dealt with in the early church included anger, immorality, immaturity in life and doctrine, a lack of reverence, slander, meanness, crudeness, dishonesty, frivolousness, disobedience, backtalk, stealing…and more.
The Church is made up of fallen humanity that is being “re-parented” and re-taught how to love and live. Our true humanity, the people we are meant to be, is being restored through the work of the Holy Spirit. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
This letter to Titus affirms the importance of community leadership from mature men and women to younger men and women. When this kind of discipleship is multiplied and modeled by the instructions of godly men and women throughout the Church, then the entire body is nurtured by the healing influence of these spiritual mothers and fathers.
Be gentle with one another. Be patient.
A sign of maturity is to let God do the work through His Holy Spirit.
You can trust Him to get the job done.