Are older people a problem or a blessing?

What does society say and what does God say?

I believe this image encapsulates society’s picture of an older person, a rather troubled and passive older man. In my work as Director of Outlook Trust, I meet many older people both in Churches and in the Community who feel on a very deep level that society has a very negative image of them which they do not deserve.

Here are a few of the things that society says about older people coupled with I believe, some of the things it thinks but doesn’t necessarily speak out;

  • They are a social problem-a nuisance-a burden.
  • They will bankrupt pension, health and other welfare systems.
  • They are non-productive and a drain.
  • They are past-it’ and out of touch with modern life
  • They are undesirable or ugly with little or no value
  • They are invisible, irrelevant, not important, nuisances.
  • They are rarely portrayed as being wise and understanding.
  • Ageing is denied to keep away the reality of growing old and a person is a ‘failure’ if they have grey hair and wrinkles.

 

So, based on the above, I believe that society looks upon older people and older age as a GREAT BIG PROBLEM, but what is God’s view?

I believe this image encapsulates His view and understanding and I am happy to say, many of our Outlook Members live their lives based on these truths;

  • Old age is a blessing from God (Deuteronomy 5 v 33 /Psalm 92 v 13 – 15 / Isaiah 46 v 4)
  • Older age is the fulfilment of a life devoted to God – ‘He has made all things new, past sins forgiven, abundant and eternal life’ (2 Corinthians 4 v 16-18)
  • Wisdom is an attribute of older people who depend on God (Proverbs 9 v 10 – 12/ Proverbs 3 v 13 & 15 – 16)
  • Older age is a general part of God’s purposes for life – (Genesis 25 v 8 – 1 / Chronicles 29 v 26 – 28 / Job 42 v 16 & 17)
  • Older people have continuing moral responsibilities and a mentoring role – (Titus 2 v 2 – 4)

Although older age has its problems, in God’s sight older people and older age are certainly not a problem, but rather A BLESSING.

The two views, society’s and God’s are as the above shows, diametrically opposed. It is this truth we encourage not just our Members to believe and live by, but to every older person we say live up to and in these truths and not live down to what society says of you.

As ever with Christian love

Norman Critchell
Director Outlook Trust