Why Older People Give Youth Advice (And Why You Should Listen)

Loving GranddaugherOlder people frequently enjoy the opportunity to share a lifetime of wisdom with young people at various stages in their lives: graduation, going off to college, workforce, or war, marriage, birth of a child, etc. Such a desire arises from love for the young and a desire to save them unnecessary heartache, suffering, or unnecessary painful, and often lifelong, consequences. The wise young person will realize that this advice is given out of concern and will recognize that they can avoid some mistakes by listening to the warnings of those who have already passed through a treacherous way.

A young person may be tempted to dismiss or diminish the advice because “things are different now” and “we live in different times.” Technology may change and many things may seem more advanced, but basic human nature remains the same throughout the ages. The book of Ecclesiastes emphasizes this cycle of life and that “there is nothing new under the sun.” So your parents may not have had iPods when they were young but they still had to make good choices about entertainment and their friends.

For example, consider this quote that speaks so well of the immorality in our nation:

“All is full of criminality and vice; indeed much more of these is committed than can be remedied by force. A monstrous contest of abandoned wickedness is carried on. The lust of sin increases daily; and shame is daily more and more extinguished. Discarding respect for all that is good and sacred, lust rushes on wherever it will. Vice no longer hides itself. It stalks forth before all eyes. So public has abandoned wickedness become, and so openly does it flame up in the minds of all, that innocence is no longer seldom, but has wholly ceased to exist.”

Yet this quote is not from modern times but it is Seneca speaking of ancient Rome! Time, technology, and political power may change but people remain the same. Listen to the godly advice of those who are older because the principles are timeless.

Don’t forsake the wisdom you have received from godly sources. For example, the book of Proverbs reminds us to not forsake wisdom shared by godly parents (Proverbs 1:8—9; 29-33; 3:1-4). Following such wisdom will decorate your life better than jewelry, direct your steps on the path of a good life, and warn you of dangers that can damage or destroy your life. As Proverbs 3:4 says to write such wisdom on your hear so that “…you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” (ESV)

You may not always understand or appreciate the godly wisdom from parents, Bible class teachers, preachers and Christians, but it can be the greatest treasure in life if it keeps us from making terrible mistakes that could make our life more difficult. Don’t hesitate to talk to those who are much older, like grandparents or older people in church, and ask them for advice to help you live a better life. Then listen carefully to the lessons of wisdom spoken in love to help you have the best life you can live.

Other Articles in this series:

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Categories: Christian Living, College

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