Today is my 30th Birthday. Some feel an overwhelming sense of dread when turning 30. Others feel like they have finally, “arrived.” My feelings are, age is irrelevant.
Stereotypically, older people are wise and young people are foolish. However, there are those on both sides who prove that sometimes age is irrelevant. There are Christians who, in spite of their older age, are as immature as children. And there are young Christians who, in spite of their youth, are wise beyond their years.
If the only factor that mattered in wisdom was experience, older people would always be wiser than younger people. After all, they have had more life experiences. However, wisdom that is from above, is gained through the learning and application of God’s word. James says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).
I know many older Christians who are not peaceable, not gentle, and certainly not open to reason. In other words, I know many older Christians who are not wise. If it were just a matter of time and experience, all older Christians would be the wisest among us, but sometimes that is not the case (Hebrews 5:12).
Conversely, there are younger Christians who are extremely wise. They, like Timothy, have proven their wisdom in their speech, life, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12). They may not have a comparable number of years of experience, but their wisdom is equal (or superior) to older Christians.
That being said, as a general rule, older Christians still tend to be the most mature. Why? Because they have spent many years learning and applying the truth of God’s word to the lives. Younger Christians are generally just beginning and haven’t had the time to learn as much.
All of this goes to show, it isn’t the age that matters, it is the knowledge and application of God’s word. It is God’s word which matures us and equips us (2 Timothy 3:17). You can be wise at any age. If you want to be wise, seek wisdom from God (Proverbs 2:1-15; James 1:5).
Likewise, you can be useful at any age. Some, unfortunately, excuse themselves from useful service in the kingdom by saying they are too old or too young. That’s ridiculous. One doesn’t have to search far in Scripture to find young men like David, Josiah, Timothy, and even Jesus who did remarkable things at relatively young ages. Nor does it take much effort to find those who were still busy doing the will of God at ripe old ages like Abraham, Moses, and Anna.
My challenge to all of us, on my thirtieth Birthday, is to stop letting age be such a factor. Stop thinking someone’s age automatically indicates their wisdom, or lack thereof. And stop making excuses for not being productive because of your age. Whatever you have the ability (Matthew 25:15) and opportunity to do (Galatians 6:10), you have the obligation to do; regardless of your age.
I love you and God loves you (regardless of your age),