Let no man despise your youth.
I’m known for talking about thunderpuppies– people young in years or at heart who think they have arrived and have yet to learn that they’re just as human as the rest of us.
Well, the other opposite is the attitude that just because you’re young or haven’t experienced xyz, you can’t possibly speak truth on it. Why do we do this? Why do we hang on such extremes? Why does a person’s age negate their knowledge? If scripture says that adultery is sin, then it doesn’t matter if you’re five, ten, twenty, forty, or eighty. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a “victim” of an adulterous spouse or parent or if you have ever been an adulterer. Sin is sin, and you don’t have to be “advanced in years or experience” to know it.
Experience lends empathy to a situation, making it an easier pill to swallow when someone has something difficult to share. It also lends reality to theoretical applications of principles, but it does not change the principle. I remember well hearing one young mother’s ideas of how child training should be handled. It was easy for her to sit with her three-month-old son on her lap and look down in judgment on a mother with a disobedient toddler. Telling the older, more experienced mother of several children that children must obey is like telling a drowning man that he will die if he goes under the water. Yeah, he knows that. What he needs is help, not a clear statement of the obvious. Experience tempers truth with grace and mercy, but doesn’t override them. However, it doesn’t change the truth of a statement, even if ill-timed in delivery.
Maturity dictates that we acknowledge truth regardless of who or how it is presented. It’d be foolish for the drowning man to tell the herald of such stunning wisdom as, “You’ll die if you go under,” that he’ll have more sense when he’s older. No, that truth isn’t going to change with the teller’s age. Sorry. Wish it were so, but it isn’t.
I think what both sides of this coin (the thunderpuppies and the anti-puppies) need is to get on our knees and beg the Lord for humility. I think it’s the antidote to the pride that comes with both maladies. It’s also a bitter pill to swallow sometimes, but the rewards… Man, I think I need a double dose too!