It’s amazing to be how often I hear that a certain age is not really that age. “30 is the new 20” they say. Or “60 is the new 40.” What’s really confusing is that both “40” and “50” are the new 30, and I can’t quite figure out how that could possibly be.
In a culture where people are always striving to be younger than they are, it is perhaps not surprising that our expectations for people of a given age have become obscured. Children living in their parents house well after their 18th, 21st, or even 25th birthday is now somewhat expected. If 50 year-olds are giving themselves permission to act (and look) 20 years younger than they actually are, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 20 year-olds don’t feel the need to grow up. After all, following the math of their elders, they are just infants.
The Bible, however, is replete with warnings against this mindset. It tells us that our age shouldn’t be what defines us. Instead, it should be our love for God and our obedience to His call on our lives. As the Lord said to Jeremiah:
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth” ;for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord (Jeremiah 1:7b).
This is instructive for people both the young and the old. It is a great reminder that God uses people of all ages to accomplish His purposes. .The young should realize that their age is never an excuse to not do what God calls them to do. Even though they are young, the should be examples (I Tim. 4:12). The “old” shouldn’t dismiss God’s work just because He uses someone with less years to accomplish it. In either case, the concern should be whether the person is doing what God says. And regardless of our age – we should get busy doing the same.
God doesn’t use age as an excuse not to use someone for His kingdom. As we are busy about His work, may we not be tempted to do so either.
Have you ever heard someone use their age as an excuse to not do what God has called them to do? Have you ever dismissed the work of God in someone’s life because they are young? How can we squash these excuses and get busy doing what God has called us to do?