Few blessings in this life are greater than having older godly men and women in our lives. Why? Because we all need models of holiness. Words matter, but living examples often speak louder to young distracted hearts. It is no accident that the Apostle Paul encourages his protégé Timothy by saying, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10). Paul sets before Timothy his own example. Interestingly, he then instructs Timothy to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (v. 12). Living examples of Christlikeness inform the lives of those around them. Every young Christian needs—not just benefits from—the example of older godly Christians.
A few months ago, at the church I serve, a group of retired men decided to begin meeting every Wednesday morning for prayer. I walked into our building this week as they were concluding their meeting. As they left, I commented to them: “This makes my heart happy. I am thankful you men are meeting, praying, and seeking to encourage one another to serve the body of Christ.” One of these senior Christians looked at me and said, “That is good to hear, because we feel very unneeded in society.” My simple rejoinder was: “It may feel like that in our society, but it should never feel that way in our church. We need you. And the church needs you.”