“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12: 2
Numerous research studies have found that a person’s attitude about aging greatly influences how he or she ages. Those with a negative attitude about growing old tend to have a poor old age experience.
Richard Johnson wrote in “The 12 Keys to Spiritual Vitality” that “the degree to which you adopted this worldly view of aging is the degree to which you will age poorly. But people with a positive aging attitude tend to live a long, happy and satisfying old age.”
Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2 could speak directly to our attitude about aging. He urged Christians to reject our society’s “ageism prejudice” that teaches that being a young person is good but being an old person is bad. As we Christians develop our aging plan, we need to adopt God’s attitude about aging.
In Genesis 6:3, Isaiah 65:20 and John 10:10, we get the impression that God’s plan is for us to live a long and abundant life. Leviticus 19:32 and 1 Timothy 5:1-5 teaches us that older people are to be honored and respected. In Proverbs 16:31, we see that being old is a blessing from God and a sign of righteous living.
Throughout the Bible, older people are called by God to minister and lead. Do a study of the ages of Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, John the Baptist’s parents, Simeon, Anna and Paul when God called them into service. From such a study you will see that God uses older adults to make positive contributions to society and his kingdom.
Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 4:7 – 5:10 that even though our body weakens in old age, God renews our inward person each and every day. We need to reject society’s “aging prejudice” if we expect to age well. We need to learn to celebrate and embrace our own aging as a process of God given growth and discovery.
Our aging attitude should view aging as a gift from God. Accept aging as an opportunity for personal growth. Approach aging as a rich and rewarding journey. We having a proper aging attitude is our first step in developing a good aging plan.
Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo.