Job 12:12 ”Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.”
In my quarter-century long life, I’ve met many men who have inspired me. Men that I want to be like. These men are generally several years my senior. Men like Jim Rion and Dave Divine have been inspirations from a distance, while someone like Tony Sutherland has been an up-close mentor. These are men who I look at and think “I wish I was like that.”
When “I wish I was like that” is out of balance it can be an unhealthy thought. When you start obsessing, extreme-imitating and approach depression over differences you’re in a “danger zone”. You are a unique individual with God given purposes, gifts and personality.
However, there is a healthy dose of “I wish I was like that.” To some extent, we should all be inspired, challenged and mentored by someone.
When you are inspired by top shelf people it’s easy to become discouraged, but we must stand firm in our promise so we don’t become defeated. I watched my pastor, Randy Santiago, get hit with an out-of-the-blue question about Revelation and end time events at Starbucks the other day. He had an answer… a good one. I thought, “When will all this knowledge not require a quick google search.” That’s because maturity (in all forms) must be grown into. In this case, having a reserve of Biblical knowledge comes from years of reading the Bible, books about the Bible and different versions of the Bible.
So I thought I’d share a few points that keep 25 year old Jason encouraged as I grow…
It Takes Time.
Leviticus 19:32 says, “You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged…”
With your gray hair will come honor. I am often encouraged through my deficiencies by the number 25. I’m only 25, I haven’t arrived. My best days are ahead, and so are yours!
It’s About Doing the Right Thing Now.
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
By doing the right thing now (being mentored, reading, learning, praying, admitting when I’m wrong, encouraging myself in the Lord, etc…) I’m setting myself up to “yield fruit in MY season.” And in my season whatever I (and you) do will prosper. That’s encouraging!
When You Have It… Stay Flexible.
1 Timothy 5:1 says, “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers…”
Notice that it doesn’t say “don’t tell an old man what he ought to do.” I pastor men who are more than double or triple my age. I know I have to instruct them. But I can’t always tell them… I have to appeal to them or encourage them, as another translation says.
I’m trying to make sure that I remember all the feedback I hear about lights, volume, style, dress, hymns, etc… so that years down the road I will be reminded to stay flexible. The truth is that the agenda I’m pushing today has an expiration date on it. When I’m 60, the movement I’m a part of will have faded and a new group of young guns will be leading the way. I pray that I will be able to let go and support them as they lead the way, while being a voice of wisdom to that younger generation.
Let’s stay encouraged as we grow up together!