HOW OLD IS YOUR ‘INNER YOU’?
“ Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)
Frequently, when I ask my fellow-seniors, “How are things going?” I am greeted with a variety of laments about aches or pains, ungrateful offspring, or sometimes a long soliloquy about governmental failures. Seldom does their list contain happy events. Sometimes after listening to their complaints even I begin to feel a bit depressed; but that is only a momentary reaction as I agree with Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians 4:16 wherein he tells us to accept the waning of our physical bodies as a natural process and to concentrate on our inner growth.
It is important to keep in mind there is an inner you’: your character, spirit and soul. The outer you is what everybody sees whether we like it or not but the inner you is invisible to other until we choose to show it. The outer you is temporary but the inner you is eternal. Whether we like it or not our outer bodies are deteriorating but the health of our inner bodies is a matter of our choice. Your inner body can become something unbelievably alive or just wither away from the lack of stimulation.
Our retirement can become a time in which we choose to lament or to grow. How each of us use our newly found freedom is a matter for us to decide. Our pre-retirement dreams of traveling, taking up a new hobby and/or reading some long neglected books are all possibilities for us to choose.
Our culture seems to
currently glamorize youth and the older generation is often regarded as a
bothersome nonessential collection of those waiting for their lives to end.
Scripture does not support that mindset. Frequently, the patriarchs of the Old
Testament were of advanced years before they began their ministries. The
Psalmist declared in Psalm 71:18 (NKJV)
“Now when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” It is up to each of us. If one can breathe, pray. If one can speak, encourage others. If one can recall, share one’s wisdom. Remember the account of creation? We saw what our God could do in just one day. So what might happen if each of us gave Him our days as long as we have life? Not only would the inner you would be enhanced but also our present surroundings and just think of the potential of having a lasting impact on the generations yet to come. So how old is your ‘inner you’? Is it younger or older than the outer you?