If the elderly think that they have graduated from the sin of pride, let them think again. Pride is a sin that affects the youthful as well as the mature. It is a subtle disease worse than arthritis or memory loss.
How does pride manifest itself in the elderly? Have you heard too many stories from grandpa where he always ended up as the hero in the drama of his life? Have you always heard your elders comparing themselves with the younger concluding that they were far more virtuous in their day?
Have you ever encountered someone whose boast was always that all of their children are successful and well-to-do? Have you heard old people bragging about how large their estates are and how by their diligence and hard work all of this was attained? Have you ever heard the older say that at 70 they could still run the Milo Marathon? Or has someone even bragged to you how good he was at wine, women and mischief?
I’m sure you would answer in the affirmative.
For the seniors to share their life experiences with the juniors is a good thing. For the seniors to inculcate values to the young by sharing the challenges they overcame when they were younger is extremely helpful. For seniors to tell stories of how they fared in the war or how they courted your moms or your lolas in their day is worth listening to. For seniors to tell us that they were rich with a P300 monthly salary amazes you as to how things have changed.
I would rather listen to the stories of seniors than to much of the boring talk of a younger generation about how much their iphone can do or what the newest gadget in the market is and how you can buy it cheap at CDR King.
But although the virtues of hard work, discipline and fortitude that have led to the success of many are commendable, they usually attract the evil of pride. Pride is a sin that simply will not vanish with age. We have to rely on a better remedy to address pride than to wish that it would simply disappear as we mature. That remedy is the word of God.
I suggest six reasons for the mortification of pride, all of which, have their foundation in God’s word:
1. God is opposed to it (Jas 4:6). A proud person does not have God on his side. And God is a bad choice for an opponent. Look at what happened to proud angels (Jude 6), a proud king (Dan 4:28-37), proud women (Is 3:156ff) and a proud speaker (Acts 12:20-23). You would not want to be in their place, would you?
2. It leads to our downfall and dishonor (Prov 11:2; 16:18-19; 29:23). Of all people to be honored are the elders. But pride does not lead to that. Further, you can never expect continued success with it. Look at what happened to King Hezekiah who flaunted his success to others (2 Chr 32:22-26).
3. There is absolutely no reason for it. Everything–abilities, accomplishments, including our breath, health and strength come from God (1 Cor 4:7; Deut 8:11-14).
4. There is really more not to be proud of in our age (Ps 90:10). Most of our boasting will be about that which is past. Even if we boast about longevity, there is so much physical weakness, pain, affliction, and emotional scarring that ought to discourage us from boasting.
5. It is a mark of the wicked (Ps 73:3-6). Although pride lurks in every heart (Mk 7:22), it is openly displayed in the speech and lifestyles of the wicked. Asaph tells us the higher we go, the harder we fall in judgment.
6. God is with the humble (Is 66:1-2; 1 Cor 15:10; Lk 18:14). The model of humility is none other than Jesus (Phil 2:3ff).
May the Lord give grace to all of us, seniors as well as juniors, to grow in the grace of humility!
SENIOR MOMENTS 08-30-14