Big D's Blog

Listen To Your Elders!

Listen to Your Elders!

I so appreciate those who are over and older than me in the faith. I have always looked at myself and have seen how I am so lacking in the fruits of the Spirit, but lately, I’ve seen the fruits of love and patience in those older saints of God. I have to say, being on the receiving end of some of those fruits (of the Spirit) is just downright refreshing.

I’m a hyper person. Well, maybe passionate about Jesus and His Word is a better way to say it. I’m also young in the faith (31 years) and in my view, not very mature. I say that because I can get wound up pretty easily, especially when it comes to the Bible. Just the other day, I was going on and on about something to an older saint (OS). In my own defense, my theology is not wrong (at least not on a regular basis), it’s just my presentation that can be quite unpleasant to the hearer. At the end of my tirade, this “OS” looked at me and calmly, gently agreed with what I was saying. Wow! He didn’t rebuke me for my attitude in presenting it (which was way over-the-top), he just said, “Well, you know, I never saw it that way before.” He didn’t have to rebuke me, after all. As soon as my fiery sermon was over, and before he responded, I wanted to kick myself anyway. I realized, pretty quickly that I was being foolish, but he was so gracious not to reprimand me or even redirect me.

That’s love. That’s raw patience and fierce gentleness. Those were the fruits of the Spirit displayed for all to see and even to be nourished and fed upon by any who were listening. Folks could have a growth spurt eating that kind of spiritual food.

I have two older saints that I vent to in my own hyper and sometimes foolish way, and all they do is listen. Sometimes they even tell me what I just said was true and it helped THEM!  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they do redirect me, but it’s always filtered through the fruit of the Spirit. More often than not, I imagine they pray for me. Constantly. And very fervently. I’m humbled by their demonstration of humility and it spurs me on to follow their example because I know it will lead me straight to being more like Jesus.

Being an elder isn’t just a matter of age, though older age is where we ultimately find our spiritual elders. Much like a good parent to a child, elders will gently affirm our good behavior and or firmly correct our bad behavior. Most of the time (if we’re not hurting anyone), they will just lovingly, patiently listen to us until we have finished our tirade. When they do speak to us though, we need to close our mouths and listen closely to what they have to say. We are about to hear “wisdom from above” and that is something we desperately need as it frequently comes directly from God to us out of their mouths.

At the end of the day, not only should we listen to our elders, but we should be amazed and thankful to God that our elders listen to us.

Big D 

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