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Still Bearing Fruit in Old Age

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Still Bearing Fruit in Old Age

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“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree . . . Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age” (Psalms 92:12-14 Psalms 92:12-14 [12] The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. [13] Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. [14] They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout). This scripture shows seniors being active, productive and bearing fruit in the latter years of their lives.

How can seniors share their experiences and bear fruit in old age? Seniors have a lifetime full of stories and lessons, successes and failures, joy and sadness, health and sickness, laughter and tears. They possess a wealth of knowledge and experience to serve their families, communities and the Church.

A righteous example

No doubt, the most important way seniors can bear fruit is by their righteous example. The book of Proverbs states, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31 Proverbs 16:31The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
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). By their godly example, seniors can have a powerful influence on younger generations.

Titus wrote about the example senior men should set: “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience” (Titus 2:1-2 Titus 2:1-2 [1] But speak you the things which become sound doctrine: [2] That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
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). As senior men exemplify these righteous qualities of Christian character, they provide much-needed stability and maturity in their families and in the Church. Senior men should be ready to advise younger men if they come with questions about the spiritual aspects mentioned in this passage as well as questions about family, jobs and finances. 

Titus also wrote about the example of senior women: “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5 Titus 2:3-5 [3] The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; [4] That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, [5] To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
American King James Version×
). Through their righteous example and teaching, senior women provide great strength to their families and the Church. Senior women should be ready to advise younger women if they come with questions about the spiritual aspects mentioned in this passage, as well as questions about family, character and responsibilities. 

Bearing fruit in the family, Church and
community 

In their families, seniors should look for opportunities to fulfill the biblical instruction to teach their children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9 Deuteronomy 4:9Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life: but teach them your sons, and your sons' sons;
American King James Version×
). Through their examples and teachings, seniors can pass on God’s way of life to the younger generations, “showing the generation to come the praises of the Lord . . . and His wonderful works that He has done” (Psalms 78:4 Psalms 78:4We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done.
American King James Version×
). There will also be opportunities to pass on family history, personal stories and lessons of life. Using wisdom and discretion, seniors can bear fruit as they share their experiences and advice on life with their children and grandchildren. 

In the Church, senior men and women can bear fruit as they help with various aspects of services and activities, visiting the sick or homebound, making phone calls, writing cards and e-mails, etc. If some seniors are no longer able to do the physical tasks, they can still serve as mentors for those doing them by sharing their personal experiences when doing those tasks. Even in more advanced years of life, seniors can still bear fruit by following the example of Anna, a widow of great age who “served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:36-38 Luke 2:36-38 [36] And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; [37] And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. [38] And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
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). 

In their local communities, some seniors also discover ways to bear fruit by doing volunteer work for various community organizations such as hospice, hospitals, senior centers, children’s activities, etc. It is rewarding to serve and give back where you can.

Bearing the most important fruit

The most important fruit seniors should bear is their personal spiritual growth, as they “go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1 Hebrews 6:1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
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). The Greek word for “perfection” (teleiotes) means maturity, completion or the realization of a goal. Our goal is glorious Sonship in God’s eternal family (Romans 8:21 Romans 8:21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
American King James Version×
). 

The senior years are a time for deeper meditation and reflection about the meaning and purpose of this physical life. As seniors see the sand in their hourglass running lower, they realize more deeply that physical life is limited, and that their final years should be devoted to completion of “the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4 2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
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). 

Just as fruit ripens and matures just before the harvest, so God’s masterpiece should come to spiritual maturity in these later years of human life. All the qualities of God’s divine nature should come together—love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control, holiness and righteousness. 

As seniors go on toward perfection, they have the opportunity to set a righteous example as they serve and give in their families, communities and the Church. By still bearing fruit in their old age, they can have a good life that is full of meaning and purpose. And as they approach the finish line of their race, they can say with the apostle Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 2 Timothy 4:7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
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).