The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/09/2009

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Aged Based Doctrine 2


"How shall the young secure their hearts, and guard their lives from sin? Thy word thy choicest rules imparts, to keep the conscience clean."

Isaac Watts 1719


There are so many things in life that are "age based." Different states have different ages at which we can get a driver's license. It made it quite interesting when I became of age. PA was 16, NJ was 17 and NY was 18. We were all envious of PA. There was a time when we could not vote until 21, but now it is 18. There are age group soccer and baseball leagues and restrictions on the age at which we could get certain jobs. On the other end of the spectrum there is an age at which we can or must retire from certain jobs and an age at which we can collect Social Security and go on Medicare. With so much emphasis placed on age in this world it is no wonder that Paul wrote to Titus and said; "But as for you, speak the things that are proper for sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1). He then went on (Vs 2-8) to speak of how people of different ages (and sex) are to conduct themselves.

Do older people deserve respect just because they are older? Maybe a little, but regardless, respect ought to be earned and years alone don't do it. Here is what Paul tells Titus to teach older men; "Be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound of faith, in love and endurance" (V2). In one small verse there is a world of qualities that an older man ought to engender. It begins with temperance. A short fuse and petulant manner don't wear well with anyone, but stick out even more when they are traits of an older more experienced person. Older people ought to accept with dignity that younger people may be looking to them for guidance and sound advice. Their speech ought to be measured and their actions should be guided by love. An older man ought to show a persistence in the face of obstacles.

To the older women Paul writes; "Be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine. Then they can teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure" (Vs 3 & 4). Again, a lot of stuff in two verses. The older women also have a responsibility to serve as role models. I'm not too sure about the wine thing, but it was probably the only beverage at the table. To me, the a most important trait was the willingness to teach the younger women about marriage and family. The young married would do well to turn to those who have long successful marriages for advice. Being "reverent, self-controlled and pure go a long way to model proper behavior.

The young do not get a free pass as far as their behavior is concerned in Paul's "sound doctrine." In reading verses 6 & 7 we see that Paul gives them a lot to think about. Being temperate, self-controlled and an example to others is a tall order for those that are filled with the energy of youth. It doesn't look like Paul leaves room for the young to "sow the wild oats" that we so often talk about. A young person is even to have a "soundness of speech." Good sound speech, whether it comes from the young or old can put the world to shame.... Doctrine??? How can people know what we believe, if we don't know how to act? As we take our beliefs and mold them into the fiber of our lives, we will speak and act the way our Lord would want us to...

Have a great day...Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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