The Fountain of Youth?

Has anyone ever realized we are living in the weirdest time in history in many ways. Once upon a time, growing older was the ideal. Gray hair was seen as wisdom which people desired to gain one day. Today, we do everything we can to not only avoid death, but to look youthful. Yes, physical health is important and there are a number of benefits of good physical health – including spiritual benefits (Yes, I believe there are some spiritual benefits, but they are not the focus of this post). However, do we ever think about the negatives involved in this?

Sure, the “Fountain of Youth” is an old story which has found its way into many cultures, but for the most part the older generation was who was looked to especially for stating wisdom and what was the norms of culture. Today, however, we are constantly seeing people older trying to act and look far younger than they are. But why? I have a few hypotheses for why this is and the problems with them:

  1. We are too worried about our image.

    We are created in the image of God. This is not a physical appearance, but rather our spirit. We are able to love, reason, and contemplate, along with many other things. When we emphasize our outer beauty, rather than our inner beauty, we our not focusing on our soul which is what Jesus was always worried about. Jesus was always concerned about the heart, the soul, the spirit, what is on the inside of the person. Why then as his church are we always focused on how we look to everyone else, worried about what they think and not what God thinks? Truth is, Jesus tells us the world “hated” him, and if we are to be living as he did then why are we so caught up trying to make sure everyone loves us (John 15:18)?

  2. We are a childish culture.

    We are called to have a childlike faith, not a childish faith. Childlike faith realizes our great need, dependency, and how small we are in the kingdom of God. Childish faith is one that just refuses to grow up and continues in immaturity. When we refuse to grow up and continue to want to live and act like we are 20 or 25 forever, we are not having a childlike faith, but a childish faith and often times live as our own gods as we only live for ourselves.

  3. We center our worlds around the children.

    Do not get me wrong, I love my children. They are incredible blessings to both Taylor and I. However, my wedding vows were made to my wife and my Christian walk requires me to put God first. When we idolize youthfulness, we begin living out our own dreams through our children (or the dreams we have for them) and we honestly begin to worship them. The children are expected to get to an age at some point where they leave the house. When they do and the parents marriage has become non-existent because of the children the marriage often falls apart, not to mention we poorly model a marriage for our children.

Youthfulness is great in its own season. I am a youth pastor and love working with this age group. However, far too often we see adults who are still trying to live out their “glory days” and the negatives far outweigh the positives. We must mature as a society and begin to act our age physically, spiritually, and everything else. Every generation in society has their part to play and we need to embrace our’sĀ and bring what we have to the table.

I love you guys, and so does Jesus. I hope you continue to long for this water, and continue to drink from it as well. Until next time, blessings to you and your family,

Josh Gentry

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