Respect Your Elders

Who are your elders?  Not just your parents’ generation – think about those two or more generations above you?  When was the last time you attended their class?  Do you view them as teachers of wisdom for our generation?  Today’s challenge: respect the elderly…

32 “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.'”
Leviticus 19:32

How do we view our elders?  Do they have something to add to our lives and times?  Sometimes it appears not, as we see less and less transfer of knowledge from the old to the young.  Google and Wikipedia have replaced listening to our elders.  Oral traditions of passing wisdom on to the next generation are all-but-gone today.

When we respect our elders we worship God.  Our treatment of the elderly is a treatment of God in our lives.  Just as with most of our behaviour, what we do reflects what we believe.  When we show value to others we show value to God.  In the case of our elders, valuing them takes the form of respect.

What does that look like?  As I reflect on what I could do in my life, I think I could stop and listen to those who are my elders.  I could ask questions about their insights and opinions regarding the issues of today.  And once I hear them, I could reflect on their ideas with deliberation. 

Their wisdom has been formed by decades of experience.  My wisdom ought to rely on humbling and reverently receiving their teaching.  I don’t just want to rise in their presence, I want to receive their gift.


Marc Kinna

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