Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5
People can suffer from choices they made in their youth over the course of a lifetime. Only some will review their past sins and connect the dots between wrongdoing and consequences. Why doesn’t everyone? Shouldn’t people, with age, grow wiser and own their mistakes?
I’ve talked with more than a few people who decided, after many decades, to confront an abuser from childhood. They possessed magical thinking and believed that someone in their senior years would certainly admit the truth. They counted on the fact that godly guilt had set in but hopes for fairness and justice were smashed when the confrontation went poorly. In despair, they voiced the next inevitable question. “How could he, at 67 years old, still deny that he did anything wrong?!” But he did, and we will too if we’ve not bent our heart to the Teacher over the years. Truth can be shunned at any age and only a truth seeker will own his mistakes.
One of the hardest parts of growing up is seeing the adults of our lives; teachers, pastors, lawmakers, etc. with adult eyes. As childhood vision begins to clear, with it comes the painful realization that people have sinned against us. Thoughts of confrontation soon follow and when anger drives the timing of it instead of the Holy Spirit’s prompting, the results are disastrous.
Is there a way to tell ahead of time whether someone will be receptive when confronted? While not entirely ironclad, I believe there is. Does that person have a track record of owning truth? Is the person humble? Have there been smaller things this person has been willing to own and apologize for?
The sad truth about people in general, even the elderly, is that ‘men love darkness rather than light’. And, ‘the way is narrow and few there be that find it’. In spite of this reality, you and I can pray for the Spirit of God to open blind eyes. God is powerful and prayer can till up the hardened soil of unbelief. One last thing ~ confrontation should always occur on the other side of forgiveness When the heart is hot ~ keep silent.
Older doesn’t always mean wiser. Keep us from cynicism. Amen