I tend to be pretty cavalier in my relationships with my elders — I usually don’t treat them any differently from friends the same age as me. I think it’s because I feel more comfortable around people who are older than me than I do around younger people. But the Bible says the old folks should get special treatment:
1 Timothy 5:1
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father….
I don’t think the first part of the verse is meant as a hard and fast rule — certainly, we are called to rebuke one another over sin. However, it sounds like I should refrain from doing so if at all possible — like I would treat my own father. Also, I have a responsibility to the encourage the
old farts older men. As I think about it, I can understand why this is: younger people do a very poor job encouraging older people because they think their elders don’t need it. But they do! So I guess I should start doing it more often. If you notice me encouraging you a lot more, take it as a sign of your fading youth.