I learned the value of kindness to the elderly at an early age. That doesn’t necessarily mean I put it into practice. But at the least it was modeled for me along with the benefits thereof. Yet I was never taught the reason behind the value.
The Bible is crystal clear about all people being made in the image of God. Adam and Eve are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). The first murder teaches us that the blood of man brings the judgment of God, for Abel’s blood cries out from the ground (yes, the blood of over 50 million children aborted in this country since 1973 applies here). The people in Noah’s day were filled with violence and met with judgment. Part of God’s covenant with Noah includes a renewed understanding of the value of man made in the image of God (Gen 9:6&7). The Gospel clearly returns a society segregated on many levels to the level ground of the cross (Gal 3:28, Christ crucified for every tribe and nation in Rev 5:9, Jesus welcoming the children, etc).
The prevailing attitude toward the aged in our culture has grown from indifference all the way to what some believe to be an increase in violence. They can’t operate smart phones, they delay our commute and they’re easy targets for heartless criminals. That’s what happens when you lose the Bible’s teaching of all mankind made in the image of God.
I am deeply encouraged when I see families sacrifice in order to care for the elderly in their midst. Beyond that I am humbly instructed by their example. I love the full expression of the Church in the same room…from babies to grannies. I smile when I think of the old prophetess Anna rejoicing over the infant Jesus (Luke 2). I’ve benefited from priceless pearls of wisdom given to any who will listen.
Why do you treat people the way that you do? Do you too need to be reminded that all people are made in the image of God? How can we do a better job loving our neighbor as ourselves for the glory of God in our homes, churches and communities?
Lord, forgive us for an unbiblical, utilitarian ethic toward your image in all people. Renew our minds according to the truth of your Word!