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I’m as old as dirt…and that’s not half bad.

I’m as old as dirt…and that’s not half bad.

FEBRUARY 27, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / I’m as old as dirt…and that’s not half bad.

Steve Brown:
I’m old as dirt…and that’s not half bad. Let’s talk, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Proverbs subject wise. Can’t do it line upon line and precept upon precept and verse after verse because the Book of Proverbs doesn’t lend itself to that, so we’re doing it subject after subject. Let’s, I like this particularly, it’s Proverbs 16:31

The silver haired head is a crown of glory if it is found in the way of righteousness.

And then Proverbs 20:29

The glory of young men is their strength. The splendor of old men is their gray head.

In other words, the writer of the Book of Proverbs, and thus God, is saying there’s something good about being old. And there really is, I have a friend who says often getting old isn’t for sissies, and that’s true. I mean, there are things that I can’t do that I used to could do. I walk a little bit slower, but I’m doing what I’ve always done. And sometimes when I’m teaching, or lecturing, or preaching, I notice that the girls are looking at me funny, and I thought, you know, they’re flirting with me. Until a friend said, no, they’re not. They think you’re their grandfather. Get over it. Okay. But there’s certain things about being old that are really good. I don’t have anything to prove anymore. And if I didn’t prove it before, it’s too late. I spoke for the graduation of a university recently. They gave me another phony doctorate. But one of the things I said to them, you need to listen to what I’m going to tell you. I know you’re tired of boring speakers at these kinds of events, but you’ve got to listen to me. And it’s not because I’m so smart, it’s because I’m old. And if you want to know the truth, only get it from an old person, because they’re not trying to get anything from you. They don’t care what you think. They’re going to speak truth as they see it. And that’s what I’m going to do during our time together. I kinda like being old. I’ve told you before that Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal, was life changing for me. I loved that, the cover has a Rembrandt painting of The Return of the Prodigal. And that book, and Henri Nouwen has meant a lot to me in a lot of ways, but that book, was a game changer in my life. He took the different personages in that particular parable that Jesus had told. The prodigal son who wasted his father’s inheritance on loose debauchery and came back home and was received. And then there was the older brother who did everything right and who was self righteous about it, and then there is of course, Jesus who told the story. But the thing that got to me was the father. And Henri Nouwen said that old people, and I was old. Old people need to use that father in the parable of the prodigal as a model to what we are called to be for younger people. He cut slack. He gave grace. He threw a party. He spoke his wisdom. He was kind. He was gentle. And I’ve said to the Lord, Lord, as I’m getting old, no, no, no, as I’m old, would you enable me to be like the story your Son told? Make me kind like him. Make me have parties for people I love. Make me gracious and merciful and good and give me wisdom that I can share when needed. Getting old is a good thing and the Book of Proverbs, I’m thankful, references that as good. So, old ain’t bad. Now, I know that there are bad things about being old, health can be a problem, slowness can be a problem, but if you’re old and you’re old like me, take some time in your prayer life and thank Jesus for giving you all these years and then say to him, don’t let me waste them. Okay, Lord? Don’t let me waste these years. Okay, let’s talk about anger. I’m an expert on that, just as I’m an expert on being old. Proverbs 17:1

Better is a dry morsel with quietness, then a house full of feasting with strife.

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:32

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

There’s more. Let me give you one more. Proverbs 19:11

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger and his glory to overlook a transgression.

How about that? I, when I was younger and I thought I had conquered it, but I haven’t, but I’m better. If you would ask my friends to describe me, one of the things they would say about me is that I had a lot of anger. We had a lady in the church that I served. And she brought her atheist brother who was a psychiatrist by to come to church to hear me preach. And as they were walking away, she said to him, well, what did you think? And he said, he’s dangerous, he’s angry. And that was probably true. Now, I was ameliorated because God gave me love. You can be a servant, just don’t be an angry one, and it’s hard to be angry and be a servant at the same time. But there was a lot of anger in me, and I don’t have the time to go into it, but there are a lot of reasons for that anger. There’s some dysfunctions in my family background. There’s some things that were harsh and painful. There were some places where I’d been hurt, and so a way that I covered it, was sometimes with my anger. I remember one time, one of the elders in the church, when I was angry about a decision that had been made by the elders, and I went to see him, and he said to me, his name was Bill Cole. He’s in heaven now, and I love him more than life itself. And Bill said to me, Pastor, are you going to go to the other elders and talk to them too? And I said, you’re right. You were just the closest one I could get to. And he said, well, calm down. You, you’ve yelled at me a lot and I understand and love you, but all those elders are not going to be that way. So, get over it before you go and see them. One elder who had a German Shepherd after I went, it was over the same issue. He called me the next morning, he said, how you doing? I said, I’m doing all right. He said, well, you scared my German Shepherd to death. He was hiding under the bed and I had trouble getting him out from under the bed. So, when I was younger, there was some anger there and there was laughter and there was love and there was kindness too. But the anger was something that I needed to work on and Jesus has been doing that. Part of it has to do with age, and part of it has to do with Jesus. Now, I do not believe, nor do I believe the Bible teaches, that a Christian will never be angry. In fact, just the opposite. In Ephesians, Paul said.

Be angry, but don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

And so, anger sometimes is called for in the face of injustice, in the face of people being hurt that you love, in the face of unrighteousness that is causing unbelievable problems, there should be indignation and anger, but don’t let that hang around. The Book of Proverbs says, overlook transgression. And so, let me give you some advice about anger, from the Book of Proverbs, which means it’s from God himself, cut slack for other people. When you’re angry at the politics of somebody else, don’t go through the roof, learn to forgive and to be quiet and to reign in your anger and to be kind and to be gracious. Why should you do that? Cause that’s exactly what God has done for you and for me. Be angry, but be careful. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
There’s something good about getting old. Boy, if that is an encouraging, I don’t know what is. Thank you Steve. Today we continue through Proverbs, stopping to take a closer look at Proverbs 16:31 and Proverbs 20:29. More to discover tomorrow in our journey through Proverbs. Sure hope you’ll join us for that. Well, the newest edition of Key Life Magazine is here, and it is bigger and better than ever, with a newly redesigned format. Best of all, it’s packed with encouraging and thought provoking articles from Steve, Chad West, Alex Early, and Kendra Fletcher. Plus a whole lot of other fun stuff. Do you have your copy yet? No? Then let’s do this! Claim your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. To mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can give safely and securely through text, just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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