It’s inevitable; as time moves on we get older. When we are young the time moves too slowly but each day we get bigger and stronger. And then as we grow older it seems that time moves too quickly and the aging process kicks in. Yes, it’s inevitable, we get older and then our bodies begin to break down. So in a physical sense you could say that the older you get, the worse you become.
“The older you get, the worse you become.” – Sigmund Freud
But today’s quote was not said about the physical condition of mankind, it was said about our moral condition. And it could not be further from the truth. Here we see the stark contrast between the secular, Godless perspective of the human condition, and the reality of our spiritual condition.
Here is the quote in its full context: “There is a general moral deterioration in old age. The old saying that youth has no virtue is just the opposite of the truth: only in youth does one find virtue. The older you get, the worse you become.” – Sigmund Freud’s remark to the author in Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud, published in 1954 (Freud’s remark was made in 1935).
Freud was a world-renowned neurologist who is considered to be the father of psychoanalysis and the treatment of psychological and psychiatric disorders. Today’s post is not about Freud per se, it is about the general secular outlook on human nature, which is epitomized by Freud’s comment. According to the worldly outlook, virtue is found in youth when a person is more idealistic about life. But as a person gets older, they gain experience and then shed such naivete and in so doing shed their virtue. Therefore, as a person gets older, they become more cynical and in the process they lose their moral convictions thus experiencing moral deterioration. Observing those who have grown old without faith we can see the truth in this philosophy.
BUT, have you ever seen a true man or woman of faith grow old? The closer to heaven they get, the more heavenly their disposition becomes. It is the opposite of the wisdom of the world – the wisdom of God demonstrates that there is a general moral maturation that comes with old age. Although our bodies may deteriorate, the Spirit of God grows stronger within us and with age comes wisdom.
If we accept the secular viewpoint, then the aged become worthless since they can only get worse. But if we accept the Biblical viewpoint, the aged become glorious and worthy of respect. Just a couple of passages demonstrate this:
“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” – Proverbs 16:31 NKJV
“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:32 NIV
And when we look at our own prospects of getting old, let’s not forget that God promises to take care of us through our entire lifetime, from when we are young, to when we are elderly, and He will save us in His kingdom.
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, the Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” – Psalm 92:12-15
So let’s not be subject to the “wisdom of the world”, but rather, let’s hold fast to the Spirit and Wisdom and Word of God.
August 18, 2012 No Comments