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What Older Christians Want Younger Ones to Know 5-Let Us Teach You

What Older Christians Want Younger Ones to Know
Day 5- Let Us Teach You
Ruth P. McDonald

“Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” (Psalm 34:11, ESV)
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4, ESV)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV)
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV)
“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5, ESV)

The internet has opened a lot of doors for seeking information, but it has also closed doors. When I was growing up I took my questions to a reliable source, most often my parents or an older relative. When I was making decisions about college, planning a wedding, and, even more important, raising my kids, I had a wonderful resource among older Christians and family members. A lot of that has been lost with Google—and that’s a real shame. There is a real loss of connection when a computer answers our questions rather than a living, breathing human being.

The amount of information out there today is mind-boggling, and it seems to create more worry and panic than what we experienced in our era of more limited information. Those of us who google a minor headache will become certain that we’re dying from a rare form of brain cancer. We become consumed with worry and we strip our homes bare of everything we think is toxic and is sucking the life out of us. So I want to propose an old-fashioned approach to the concerns that worry you: Ask someone who’s been there.

One of the beautiful aspects about the family of God is that it’s made up of all sorts of people, offering many levels of support. Older Christians have wisdom to offer, insight to give, and encouragement in the pressures young believers face today. So go ahead and ask them. Ask their opinion and store up the wisdom they share so that you may be better able to face the issues at hand. Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re not capable; rather, it reveals a teachable spirit, which God values greatly.

Part of the breakdown in communication between today’s youth and older ones is due to the way we gather information in our era of technology. Older Christians are thought to be out of tune with what our youth face today, and the older ones feel the younger ones are disinterested in what they have to offer. Heads are often bent down to the phone, so much so that communication is hampered or lost. Take the time to speak to people face to face. Be willing to invest in real relationships in real time. Many of us who are older also struggle with the distraction of technology at our fingertips 24/7. But when we allow ourselves to be consumed with technology, we miss interaction with people right in front of us.

The challenge today for all of us is to be more present so that doors for communication are open. Let’s lean on the experience of the older generation, and be willing to hear the knowledge they have collected through their own life’s journey. And recalling our previous study, let’s remain approachable so that the younger believers feel comfortable in coming to us for advice and instruction. There is so much to gain from rich relationships between the younger and older believers. Let’s foster those relationships, and pray for them to flourish in our own local testimonies of faith.

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