Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Showing Respect For The Elderly

Chuckle: "When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra." --Will Rogers
Quote: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice.” –Unknown   
    "Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:32 NIV). "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. . . . "May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice" (Proverbs 23:22, 25 NIV).
In our last lesson, we addressed the need to respect and honor all people with emphasis on the elderly. Scriptures are replete with admonitions concerning how we should treat the elderly with love and respect. I ran across a Bible lesson by Samuel Simmons on this subject. After a discussion on showing respect to the elderly, he asked the question, "What about you?" Following are his words.
Try to imagine yourself at over 80 years of age (no imagination is required for some of us). Think about how you would want to be treated. When you do, you probably see that patronizing sympathy or superficial pity falls far short of showing respect. . . What form of respect might you want in your later years? Consider these possibilities:
    * The respect that says, "You still matter to God." When you hurt, God cares. When you are lonely, God is there. When you feel abandoned, God is faithful.
    * The respect that says, "You still have purpose in the world.". . . God invites elderly persons to join Him in His kingdom work. When you feel useless, God gives you purpose.
    * The respect that says, "I'm interested in your life." What was your vocation? Where did you live? "What do you think of this or that national crisis? . . . What are the top lessons you have learned in life?
    * The respect that says, "God forgives you." Did you make mistakes? Did you hurt others? Do you have regrets? No failure in life lies beyond the powerful forgiveness possible in Jesus Christ.
    * The respect that says, "If you need me, I'm here for you." Is someone trying to take advantage of you? Is someone asking you to do something that makes you uncomfortable? Let me know and I will help you if I can.
    * The respect that says, "I want to hear your opinion." Do you have a different view than mine? Does your life experience tell you something different? Help me understand what you are thinking. I will listen. "Is not wisdom found in the aged? Does not long life bring understanding" (Job 12:12 NIV).
One final thought from Mr. Simmons: The way we treat our elders is the model our children and others may use in relating to us when we are old. If that is true, how will those younger persons treat us when we are old? We may be writing the script right now by the way we treat the elderly.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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