Wisdom of the Aged (Job 12:12)
By Jennifer Waddle
Today’s Bible Verse – Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12)
There’s great value in the lessons that can be learned between generations. Just as Paul encouraged Timothy in the Bible not to let anyone look down on him for his youth, but to be an example in love, faith, and purity, the younger generation can teach the older generation valuable things in both faith and life.
I still remember hearing a young girl speak, who had suddenly lost her sight due to an unexpected illness. She stood before a room full of women and gave her testimony with boldness and clarity. Then, as she closed her message, she encouraged all of us to view life’s major setbacks as brand new opportunities to serve God in ways we never imagined. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, as we learned something beautiful from a young girl steadfast in the Lord.
As I get older, I’m finding that wisdom goes both ways. There is just as much to glean from the “young’uns” as there is to be gathered from the aged. As Job rightly pointed out, “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job had lived long enough—and been through enough—to know that the older generations had wisdom that needed to be passed on. The question for us today is, are we actively sharing our wisdom and experience with the younger generation?
If you feel like you have wisdom to share, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Start a small group Bible study for young married couples.
Marriage is no easy thing. Young couples are in desperate need of older couples to mentor them and walk with them through the tough stuff. Prayerfully consider leading a Bible study for married couples within your sphere of influence, and watch your God-given wisdom be used for His glory!
2. Offer to mentor young adults.
Many churches have young-adult groups that meet together for fellowship and fun. However, there is also a need for the older generation to offer mentorship for these young adults. Get in touch with the young-adult leader in your church and offer to be a listening ear. You might be surprised at the warm welcome you’ll receive!
3. Adopt a college student who is far from home.
Out-of-state college students often feel a bit displaced, especially around the holidays. Consider “adopting” a college student by inviting them to your home on weekends and holidays. This will mean so much to them as they find a welcoming family they can depend on.
4. Volunteer in the youth department of your church.
Youth groups almost always need extra volunteers to oversee youth events and activities. This is one area where you can definitely offer wisdom, guidance, and direction to the next generation.
Many times, all it takes is getting out there and putting yourself in the position of availability. The younger generation needs the wisdom of the aged, but they are often too busy and independent to reach out. By showing up within their circles of life, you are saying, “I’m here for you.”
Keep in mind, you don’t have to have all the answers. Pouring into the younger generation is more about relationship building than instructing. And as Proverbs 27:17 reminds, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Both young and old have valuable things to share with each other. The key is to be open to God’s leading. Pray for opportunities to reach across generational lines and offer camaraderie to someone today. You never know who might be blessed by your wisdom, understanding, and willingness to invest in their life!
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling’s book “The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus.”