Society today doesn’t think that way. Unless they’re thinking about relationships – then age doesn’t mean anything. But for the most part, society as a whole has maturity and wisdom pre-programmed in a light switch that comes on around the age of 40. I don’t know what it is about 40 that’s so different from 39, but it is in the world today. We seem to gain the last bit of life experience we need to grow up and be wise in the moments between turning 39 and turning 40. All of a sudden, we become mature and the light switch is turned on.
The funny thing is that maturity and wisdom have absolutely nothing to do with age. Absolutely nothing. This truth is contradicted in almost every arena – home, schools, and even church. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t be with adults praying on our knees for our church and world when there’s a game-filled program right across the hall with teens my own age. I’m not old enough to seek God’s will. I’ve been told that I should lighten up and dumb down so that my mind and heart work in accordance with my age. How many times have we bought into this idea that wisdom has limitations – especially in the church?
I was reading Job the other day, and found these verses that very much contradicted the idea of age = wisdom:
I thought (Elihu speaking), ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
And sometimes I sit and wonder why on earth my generation is so stupid and foolish (I really do this from time to time – mostly when I do something stupid and foolish). How can young people be expected to be wise and mature when we teach them that the understanding and knowledge they need to be so is out of their reach? How can my generation be expected to make a positive change in this world when we’re taught that wisdom from our elders is more precious than seeking the breath of the Almighty?
This isn’t to say that I don’t value the wisdom and life experience my elders pass down to me. I absolutely value it. There’s a lot to be learned and I’m so thankful for those who take the time to invest in me. However, I think my generation needs to step up and realize that this knowledge and wisdom is there for them to claim now. I don’t care if you’re in highschool or your 20’s. Don’t sit around waiting for the light switch to come on, because it equates to nothing.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Let’s learn from our elders, but let’s listen to His voice and seek His face. Let us ask for wisdom and cherish it. Now.
Now, let’s discuss, because I still don’t have this all figured out in my mind. I’m making myself publish this without too much thought (Dangerous, I know. Hopefully it makes a bit of sense.) because I’m way behind on my once a week blogging deal. How can this mindset be reset within the church and culture today? How can young people share the wisdom God has given them in a way that is respectful and impactful?