Friday, February 25, 2011

Respect Yo' Elders!

Not the best mentor/mentee relationship

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. – Titus 1:6-9

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1

Amongst my close group of friends I have one named Larry. He is the oldest of us, and by oldest I mean that he is merely a few months older than the rest of us. This of course does not prevent him from referring to himself as our elder.

(In related news he wore a cowboy hat
during the entire aforementioned Domino Tournament of Champions… he can be a rather hilariously insufferable fellow… but I digress.)

It’s pretty hilarious to me when he says it, and of course he is saying it in jest… but it is funny how a lot of folks out there really are self appointed elders. Have you ever had someone decide that they were going to take you under their wing and show you the way to succeed just like them? Sometimes it’s a good thing, we can all learn from those who came before us. But other times it’s a bad thing. Sometimes these “elders” have more bad to pass along than good.

That’s why the passage above struck me. How should we choose our elders? What qualities should they have? From the looks of it they should be wise as evidenced by the contents of their life and how their family is situated. They should be stable and not volatile. They should be of sound mind and discipline. They should have values and morals that you respect and admire.

Makes sense right? These are the things that I look for in a mentor or elder too.

Let’s flip it for a second though. What about you? Do you have these qualities? There is someone in your life that looks up to you as an elder. What would they say about you if they compared you to the passage above? Yes, Charles Barkley famously said that he was not a role model, but the title of role model, mentor or elder is not one to be accepted or rejected. There are always people watching you, using your example as a guide to help them get through life whether you like it or not.

Ignoring this fact is ignoring the basic commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

Which way are you leading the ones who are following you? Are you leading them into the light or into the darkness? Do your actions line up with your words?

Food for thought…


  1. "Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

    10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. "

    If the Cretes were elders, would they be considered a role model?

    I dig this one man.

  2. Thank you and I see that you are doing the extra credit reading! Gold Star for you!

  3. As the official oldest of the group, I can say this...

    I learn a great deal from you guys regardless of age. Our discussion, whether we disagree or not, always leaves me with a sense of enlightenment. So to answer your question, an elder isn't identified by age but by wisdom. I hope I can return the favor someday to you guys.

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." - Bruce Lee


Creative Commons License
A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at