But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV).
There are few people more discouraging than grumpy old men. You know, the ones who humph and scowl a lot, who nit-pick, have sharp tongues, broadcast their displeasure, and douse other people’s dreams with icy water.
In my early twenties I made a pact with myself to never be a grumpy old man. I was determined, and still determined, to grow in grace. I don’t want to get to my eightieth birthday harbouring a life of regrets. I want to be careful with what I sow – intentional in the things I say and do. Tomorrow I want to be a little kinder, a little gentler, a little sweeter, a little blinder to the faults of those around me.
Growing in grace … What kind of an old person do you want to be? When I’m wrinkled and grey I hope I’ll be invited to parties and asked to dance. I want to be appreciated. I want young people to enjoy hanging out with me. I don’t want to be known for the clothes I wear, but for the love and acceptance I bring. I want my children and grandchildren to say, “The old guy’s cool!”
“Aging isn’t a choice, but our response to it is” Anonymous. I don’t have to be a grumpy old man, and neither do you. So what do we need to do in order to be kinder, gentler and sweeter? Psalm 92:14 says, “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green” (NLT). Here’s how to stay out of mothballs: Keep on producing fruit. We remain virile by exercising patience, being kind, and showing love.
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Listen. The day’s coming when the hairs in your nose will be bushier than the hairs on your head. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start today. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. It’s never too late to grow in grace – never too late to be enthusiastic and thankful. So get to it. Examine your life and work on the things the Holy Spirit’s impressed on your heart. Do what God’s brought to your attention, and anything else you may need to do to grow in grace.