“Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” – 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)
Sometimes, it can be difficult for one generation to relate to another one. The young can seem loud and emotional and hyperactive. They speak a language while on social media that their elders don’t understand and seem to be on information overload. The old – yes, admit it, old – can seem boring and domineering and stubbornly stuck in the very slow past. Each generation can be judgmental or self-focused, presuming that their own way is best or neglecting one another altogether.
Yet it seems such a mistake to forget what we can offer each other. The old can impart encouragement because of their wisdom, experience, and stability. Our elders are a reminder that no matter how much the world changes, some things remain. The young convey innovation, excitement, and adventure. The young are a warning against cynicism and a reminder that life is full of possibilities and that no matter what evil we’ve seen, something refreshing and stimulating could be right around the corner.
Therefore, it seems wisest for generations to reach out to one another—to build a bridge that crosses the many differences that would seek to divide us. Arch bridges are able to bear loads by distributing weight across the many stones used in their construction. In the same way, we must be able to impart what we have to others and build strong bonds so that we can bear our burdens and blessings together. Galatians 6:1-3 (NLT) encourages this when it states: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”
Practical Application. Choose to spend time with a variety of people. Consider a wise older person whose experience and wisdom can be an asset to you and whom you can encourage in new experiences. Also, consider an enthusiastic younger person to influence with insight as he or she navigates life’s challenges and who will be able to invigorate your life.