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Staying Young as Your Family Grows Older, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2022 7:05 am

Staying Young as Your Family Grows Older, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 10, 2022 7:05 am

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Today, Chuck Swindoll on staying young. I've always liked the statement to be 75 years young is far better than being 45 years old. Because I've noticed that some are older at 45 than others at 75.

Never quite been able to figure that out. It isn't your age. It's your attitude. How is it that someone who's 75 years of age can sometimes appear to be 45? Is their youthfulness merely an optical illusion? Or can we truly overcome the aging process? Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll suggests that our attitude plays a major role. And his premise comes not from his own opinion, but the timeless principles found in the Bible.

Sound like something you'd like to pursue? Well, during the next half hour, Chuck will cite several Old Testament stories to illustrate this promising outcome, staying young as your family grows older. There's something delightful and carefree about being young. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, shortly before his death, wrote a little piece called Youth and Age. In it, there is a line, not cared this body for wind or weather, when youth and I lived in it together. My question is, why must that attitude stop? Where is the culprit who passed the edict that growing older is a plague and that all gray and white hair should be dyed brown or black?

Where is that culprit? What is there about leaving one's 50s that makes one uneasy about saying he or she is entering the 60s or the 70s or the 80s? It's a huge thing, especially for women. Women sometimes do funny math. I thought of it when I read the dialogue the other day between a woman and a census taker. Your age, please, he asked.

Well, said the woman, let me figure this out. I was 18 when I married and my husband was 30. He's now 60 or twice as old as he was back then, so that means I'm now 36. Now I'm realistic enough to know that age comes on fast.

It's like the statement, it's a quick slide from bikinis to estrogen. As one wag wrote, when you wake up and discover your waterbed had a leak and realize later you don't have a waterbed, when resisting temptation is not nearly as hard as recognizing it, when the airline person offers you coffee tea or milk of magnesia, you know you're getting old. Why should getting old bother anybody, especially if we're still healthy and able to get around? Satchel Paige, always one of my favorite baseball players because he never paid any attention to how old he was and everybody else talked about it and he never did. In fact, I'm not sure he even knew how old he was and even when he got past what was called the retirement years for baseball players, he was still pitching that baseball. So somebody finally interviewed him and said, hey Satchel, what's your philosophy on aging? He said, that's really simple. Age is a question of mind over matter.

You don't mind, you don't matter. Amos Alonzo Stagg was the founder of American football and he lived a long time. In fact, when he was at 102 and was living in a rest home, one of the local sportscasters heard where he was located and decided to do an interview with this 102 year old very sharp and quick-witted man. So he sat down with his camera and he interviewed him and took a few photos and was so stimulated by it, he said as they finished, you know Mr. Stagg, I hope I can come back next year and do this when you're 103.

Stagg said, you look pretty healthy to me, I think you'll make it. I've always liked the statement, to be 75 years young is far better than being 45 years old. Because I've noticed that some are older at 45 than others at 75, never quite been able to figure that out.

Henry David Thoreau put it well, none are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. It isn't your age, it's your attitude. Nobody cares how old you are except you.

And if you don't mind, it don't matter. So quit talking about your age and start demonstrating enthusiasm. By the way, your family would love it if you had listened closely today. I haven't talked to them, I just know families and some of you are getting a little crotchety, a little hard to live with, and they'd like you to knock it off.

So they would say, listen to Chuck today, this is going to help you. Let's start with attitudes that just demoralize us as we begin to age, whatever age that is. The first attitude is uselessness. Uselessness says, I'm over the hill. I get in everybody's way, why am I still around? Johann Goethe, the German poet, once wrote, a useless life is an early death.

Don't go there. Uselessness is a bad attitude to carry with you and you'll die before you die. The second attitude is self-pity. Self-pity says, nobody cares about me anymore. Why should I bother to stay alive or in touch?

Woe is me. Invariably, it leads to blame. Blame leads to bitterness and bitterness leads your family to say, how long is grandma staying this time?

How long are they going to be? Why did we say we'd bring them with us on a vacation? They don't mind you, they just hate your attitude. Third is fear. This is a very common one among those getting older. This attitude says, I need to be very careful.

I need to avoid all dangers and all risk. This can quickly lead to a suspicious spirit and a suspicious spirit leads quickly to paranoia. When I use the word paranoia, I remember the words of one wag who said, just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

I like that. Fear is a thief. It steals our joy and it robs us of peace. Fear is the most devastating of all emotions someone once wrote. If you're afraid, chances are good you'll draw your blinds and lock your door and lock it and lock it and lock it yet again.

Don't go there. Perhaps the most devastating of the four is the attitude of guilt mixed with regret. This attitude is forever looking back with a sigh saying, if only, if only I hadn't, but if only I had, and then you finish the sentence.

Guilt and regret feed disappointment and discouragement. It's like the little poem across the fields of yesterday. He sometimes comes to me, a little lad, just back from play, the boy I used to be. He smiles at me so wistfully when once he's crept within. It is as though he had hoped to see the man I might have been. You can't read that without a sigh.

The man is caught up in guilt and regret. To all of us who are grandparents and to all of you who will be, there is so much we can do that is useful and helpful and necessary in this old world. Our families definitely need us. As I think back to my own family, my grandfather was always younger than my father. My dad was old when I was born and I just made him older as I lived my life, but I never seemed to make my granddad older, though he was many years senior to my dad. My granddad lived on the edge.

Life was exciting, enthusiastic, fun. I think I played catch with my dad one time and he got winded after about the fourth pitch and then I wished my granddad had been there. It was my granddad who taught me how to handle a motorboat. It was my granddad who taught me how to drive. Never forget driving that 39 Ford into the garage in El Campo, tearing off the front fender. My granddad never moved. He said, just back up and try it again, son. He said, I didn't buy new fenders. I came by new grandsons. Let's try it again. That's my granddaddy.

What a magnificent memory. Grandparents, the youth are told to honor us. Let's give them a reason to do it. Let's don't expect it without earning it.

There's a reason they don't and it may not be their fault. Maybe it's time for an attitude adjustment. Maybe it's time for us to take a real swift look at an attitude a fellow named Caleb possessed from his early years through his middle years and right up to his last years. It was an attitude of fortitude, an attitude of gratitude, of gratitude, an attitude of faith, a can-do spirit.

That's Caleb Joshua chapter 14. When you work through the younger years of his life, you see that he was positive. Even though the majority of others around him weren't, he was. They said, we can't. He said, we can. They said, we ought not. He said, we must. They said, it's impossible.

He said, there is no such word with God. He was positive at the age of 40. And then when he went from 40 to 85, during those 45 years, what a journey that was full of deaths. A whole generation is buried.

He helped in some of those funerals, I'm sure. And he just kept on living, kept on anticipating, kept on thinking, we are about to take the land. We will take the land. And then when he reaches 85 and the land has been taken, he can't wait to take on the mountain.

The first of the mountain men is Caleb. In his middle years, he's determined. In his later years, he's confident. I mean, who doesn't want a granddad like that?

Tell me how to live like that. And I can't spend enough time with you. Caleb's contagious story is contained in this little section of Joshua 14. And right out of the chute, you find Caleb positive. Fourteen six of Joshua, the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb, the son of Jephthah the Kenosite said to Joshua, you know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses, the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. Remember that Joshua? I was 40 years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh to spy out the land. And I brought back word to him as it was in my heart.

We need to look at that. So hold your place here and go to Numbers chapter 13, verse one. The Lord spoke to Moses saying, send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel. You shall send a man from each of their fathers tribe, everyone a leader among them. Remember now they're all leaders. They're all leaders of their tribes. So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Puran at the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the sons of Israel. Verse six, from the tribe of Judah, Caleb, the son of Jephthah. The other names are here.

I can't pronounce them so I'll let you read them. Drop down to verse 25. 25, when they returned from spying out the land. So they've gone in the land. They've looked at all the things that are in front of them.

They've not yet taken the land. They're going to study the crops. They're going to check out the location of the cities. They're going to notice the enemy. They're going to see and do a little plan strategy on what they ought to do when they take the land. And so they come back with even samples of the produce. They bring grapes and they bring pomegranates and they bring other things and they show them this is really a fertile land.

Look at 25. When they returned from spying out the land at the end of 40 days, they proceeded to come to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Puran at Kadesh. And they brought back word to them and to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Now imagine this in your mind.

Here are 12 guys. They've got all of this stuff they're bringing back from their trip. Thus, they told him, said, we went into the land where you sent us and it certainly does flow with milk and honey and this is its fruit.

Nevertheless, here it comes, here it comes. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong. The cities are fortified, very large. Moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. Amalek is living in the land and, by the way, these are the early basketball players. The Amalekites were the seven foot tall, seven, six, eight foot, six, seven, all those huge guys and they saw these enemies like giants.

They said we were like grasshoppers in their eyes. So verse 29, Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites and the Termites. They're all living in the hill, the hill country and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan and Caleb says, stop, stop it, be quiet. Now look at Caleb stand tall.

He's only 40 years old. He's outnumbered 10 to 2, he and Joshua, the only two that have eyes of faith. Caleb quieted the people and said, we should by all means go up and take possession of it.

We shall surely overcome it. You want to go, did you see the same thing those other 10 people saw? Yeah. Do you realize those guys are big?

Yeah. And he would say, do you know how big God is? Human giants are zip compared to a universal size God. It isn't about the enemies. God said he will give us the land. So why are we standing here with our face hanging out, worried about a few enemies hidden away in fortified cities? Let's get an attitude of fortitude and take them on. But the man who had gone up with him said, we are not able to go up against the people for they're too strong for us. It isn't about us. Caleb would think it's about our God. We're not doing this for us.

It's not our battle. So they gave out to the sons of Israel, verse 32, a bad report. Ever been in a crowd in an office like that where bad news starts to spread? A little negative attitude crops up at the water fountain. Before you know it, you can hardly do your work on your computer because you're overcome with a negative spirit and the grousing of a few people. In fact, maybe a lot of people ever stood against that. That's Caleb.

They said, we can't do it. In fact, look at the end of verse 32, the land through which we have gone in spying it out as a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There we saw the Nephilim, sons of Anak, and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight. Oh, what are they doing and looking at themselves? Grasshoppers in our own sight. Well, sure you are, you dodo. You're not tall like they are.

It's not about you. Can God handle giants? Can God handle land filled with Canaanites? That's why Caleb says what he does in verse six, verse six, chapter 14.

Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephthah, and those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes. And they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, the land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then he will bring us into the land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Don't rebel. Don't focus on what can't be done. Think of our God. Do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey.

Isn't that a great answer? Their protection has been removed from them. The Lord is with us. Do not fear them.

All the congregation applauded. All right. No, it doesn't say that.

Verse 10, they said, let's stone them with stones. Oh, boy. How's that for a great response? You know why? Because negativism always gets a nod over the positive spirit.

Negative thinking will always get the majority's attention. That's why the evening news is full of it. They're not going to tell you it's almost sunny. They'll tell you it's partly cloudy. They're not going to tell you how great things are happening over there in Orlando.

They'll tell you about a mudslide in Malibu. Why? Because that's what gets your attention.

That's what sells newspapers. That's what the people want to hear. Unless, of course, you're Caleb who refuses it. Now, go back to Joshua 14. Caleb is remembering back when he was 40. And now, he doesn't change. Now, I want you to stay with this. Don't drift. Stay with the thought.

Here's Caleb. He's lived through the next 45 years as the Lord removes these people from the planet. If you can't silence them, you kill them. It's kind of a basic idea, okay? And you remove them from, now, not in your office. I don't have that in mind. But you're the Lord, and you don't want that kind of attitude. You say, get rid of them.

It's curtains. So guess what? Caleb, for the next 45 years, is burying his peers.

I don't know if you thought about it or not, but that's thousands and thousands of funerals. One after another after another, all these carcasses are littering the journey as they wander in the wilderness, teaching the Israelites a lesson that Caleb was right. And Caleb said, you know, I never let it affect my attitude. Look at verse 9. So Moses swore on that day, surely the land where your foot is trod and shall be an inheritance for you. Now, verse 10. Now, behold, the Lord has let me live just as he spoke these 45 years.

I love it. From the time the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness, and now behold, I'm 85. Verse 11, on the heels of giving than his age. Look at what he says. I'm still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me.

There's no wimpy, woe is me attitude. He says, I'm strong for going out, coming in for warfare. Give me the hill country.

Not referring to Kerrville or Bernie, but give me the land where the giants are. You got to, you got to love a guy like this. Well, drive them out.

We'll drive them out as the Lord has spoken. It's not impossible. Don't tell me it's impossible. Which reminds me, according to the theory of aerodynamics, as may be readily demonstrated through wind, tunnel experiments, the bumblebee is unable to fly. This is because the size, weight, and shape of his body in relation to the total wing spread makes flying impossible. But the bumblebee never read the report. Being ignorant of these scientific truths, he just goes ahead and flies anyway.

You know what else I'm impressed with with Caleb? He's not whining because he wasn't chosen to be the leader. God chose Joshua to be the leader. Ever thought about that?

I mean, today you'd hear, well, human resources know about this decision. I'm, I stood strong just like Joshua did. How come Joshua gets it? Why don't we have co-leaders?

They didn't lead the exodus by a committee, and they're not going to lead the invasion by co-leadership. It's Joshua and Caleb goes, now you're talking, let's go. You're listening to Insight for Living and the subject at hand today, staying young as your family grows older. This is the final message in Chuck Swindoll's practical eight-part series, Marriage from Surviving to Thriving. And to learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at Now, marriage is one of the topics included in a popular book Chuck's written by the same title as this series. So if you're ready to dig deeper on your own, or you'd like to pass this on to adult children who are in the throes of cultivating their own marriage, we invite you to purchase a copy of Chuck's book, Marriage from Surviving to Thriving by visiting slash offer. If you're looking for a way to listen to Chuck preach, you'll be glad to learn that just a few weeks ago, Chuck presented a time-sensitive two-part series to his congregation in Frisco, Texas.

One of his messages was designed to help us look back at 2021, and the other was designed to help us look forward into 2022. The response to Chuck's online sermons was well received, so much so that we've decided to offer both audio recordings free of charge to anyone who requests them. These two messages from Chuck are offered under the title, Pressing On in Faith. And you can download the free audio files by going to slash pressing on. And remember, when you give a donation, you're empowering us to provide a constant source of Bible teaching for you and for countless others who've come to rely on Chuck as well. So thanks for doing your part in making these daily programs possible. To give a donation right now, call us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888.

You can also give online when you go to slash donate. And then finally, don't miss Chuck's brand new teaching series through the book of Colossians. Chuck Swindoll describes how to stay young as your family grows older, Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Staying Young as Your Family Grows Older, was copyrighted in 2005, 2006, and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-24 23:26:20 / 2023-05-24 23:35:36 / 9

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