Aging is something we all experience as we grow through life. In light of this, it’s natural to have questions, concerns, and thoughts about it.
As a believer or someone at least interested in faith, you may ask yourself, “What does the Bible say about growing old?” Let’s find out for ourselves!
The Bible speaks of aging as a normal, natural part of God’s design for life on earth. Aging is shown great respect and likened to great wisdom and a wealth of personal experience.
Proverbs 16:31 tells us, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 20:29 likewise says, “The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”
In the Bible, we find an interconnectedness between the question of aging and the question of the meaning of life.
As we age, we wonder more about what kind of legacy we have left on the world.
Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon questions the meaning of life, coming to the realization that so many of the things we do in this life are simply fleeting and temporary.
Ecclesiastes 1:3-11 reads, “What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full.
Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description.
No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.”
These are the types of feelings many of us experience as we age, but thankfully the Bible has an answer to our concerns about the futility of this life.
Solomon goes on to proclaim that the true value in this life is godly wisdom and righteousness, leading to salvation.
Everything else will pass on when we move from this life to the next, but faith in God will determine our ultimate fate.
Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t enjoy every season of life we have here!
Ecclesiastes 11:8 says, “When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life!”
It’s all about perspective. God simply doesn’t want us to be so unwise in our choices here that we forfeit eternity with Him.
The Bible encourages us to enjoy our youth as well, but to be wise.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 reads, “Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it.
Do everything you want to do; take it all in.
But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.”
One of the biggest struggles we face as we grow old is the loss of both our physical and mental capacities.
It can be extremely challenging for the person enduring that loss and their loved ones to persevere through the limitations we face as we age.
The Bible contrasts a worldly understanding of this struggle with a godly perspective of it.
In light of the disillusionment that comes with aging, we must remember that
“for all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6).
God gives us each a portion in this life, one that we should take full advantage of. No matter how long or short our life is, or what we experience during it, living is still a precious gift from God that must not be squandered.
The ultimate teaching of the Bible on growing old is that meaning in life is fulfilled in our God-given purpose, and our purpose is only fulfilled when we take advantage of our God-given portion in Christ.
While this portion may seem less fair for some than for others, life’s meaning will be truly fulfilled only at the final judgment when we receive our inheritance for the way we invest our portion, be it good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.
We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”
While life isn’t always fair, God IS, and we will experience that when we stand before Him after we’ve passed from this life.
Ultimately, while thinking through the reality of aging, we must recall one crucial truth: for believers, death is NOT the end!
1 Corinthians 15:22 teaches us that “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”
Even though we will all age and pass away, if we are counted among the believers in Christ, we will be raised to new life with Christ.
That new life is something that time can never take away from us.
We will share in Christ’s resurrection, being raised to a new reality where we can spend eternity with God in perfect peace, joy, and love.
We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know in the comments below.
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