I thought, “Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.” But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. – Job 32:7-8
I, more often than not, have bowed to the wisdom of those who exceed my years, but when the verse above is understood properly, one sees that old age does not guarantee wisdom. There is a difference between “maturity” and “maturity in Christ.” While experience can be a valuable commodity, it is not an aid if one never learns anything by it. To put it as simply as possible, a person might accumulate experience without adding to his or her wisdom.
While our “elders” deserve our respect, we should not rush to heed their counsel. No matter the source of knowledge, all information must be measured against the wisdom of God. Before we seek the guidance and counsel of others, we should always consider whether or not a person is led by the Spirit of God.
Oh, and one last word to those who (like myself) now find ourselves falling into the more “experienced” category. The greatest validation of our counsel comes not from our achievements, but rather from the Savior. Be sure that you have heard from Him before you offer advice to others.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. – Charles Spurgeon