Older christian, I know now that you must’ve seen the look on my face. When I was a younger Christian, I wore that look more often than I do now, a change that I can only attribute to God’s chastening grace. There are still days that find that look back on my face. But now, in my fortieth year, I’ve entered a strange stage of life, an age where some consider me old(er) and some still consider me young(ish). I now also see that same look on the faces of Christians younger than me. The look, which I’m embarrassed to put words to now, is one of resentment and dismissal. I resented you because you were older and knew some of the comforts that old age and godliness bring, yet your ways and thoughts seemed so outdated and nonsensical compared to what I thought our church needed, what I needed. I dismissed you mainly because of the divide between us, the generational gap that separated us. I dismissed you because I was simultaneously frustrated that you would not cross that divide and deeply fearful that you would cross it and begin to speak truth into my life, truth I needed to hear but didn’t want to hear. Dismissing you was just more comfortable.
I was so childish, so impetuous, so foolish. I sinned against you in not giving you the honor that was your due (Ex. 20:12; Prov. 20:29). I sinned against God in despising His gift of older saints to the church. I, in the end, robbed myself to pay my pride.