You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s said. (Actually, I’ve failed to teach our dog any tricks, but that’s a different story)
I was mulling this over while preparing a talk once for our Ladies Fellowship, a delightful group of saints, most of whom were in their seventies and many in their eighties.
Not old dogs at all. Born again. Made new. Alive in Christ. Filled with the Spirit.
And I’m not teaching them new tricks, either. Our mutual ministry is to transform each other into the likeness of Christ. To love, serve, pray and change.
Yes, change. Because while society is in love with youth, we are aiming at maturity, and gospel maturity is not something you reach at 40, 60, or 90.
Sure, these lovely ladies may not know how to Skype, and they may make coffee differently to me. Those are tricks.
But in terms of maturing in Christ, no one is ever over the hill – no one even reaches the top of the hill.
So, in your ministry to the older Christians in your church, are you subtly colluding in society’s patronising attitude to age and infatuation with teens?
Or do you see someone in their eighties still capable of change?
(Hint: try asking that question about your attitude to an unbelieving 80 year old)