I have a confession to make. When I was younger, I sometimes wondered why God allowed people to grow old. I thought, why not, after their most productive years are over, let them go to heaven and avoid the pain and suffering aging often brings. Now that I am a little older and wiser, I think I know at least one good reason God allows the elderly to stick around. They can testify to God’s faithfulness in their own lives. They can transmit to the next generation how good God is. Maybe that is one reason the apostle Paul urged God’s people to take care of widows. He wrote, “A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least 60 years old and was faithful to her husband. She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?” The elderly have a lot to share. He urged family members to look after widows who are relatives and need support. He wanted the church to look after widows who had no one to support them. He also urged the church to honor the elderly leaders who served the congregation. He said the church should respect and pay well those elders who do their work well. Like the early church, we should honor and support elderly people.
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