How many of us older Christians are in mid-life crisis and lamenting our failures at pleasing the LORD?

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UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,711
1,917
113
#1
I am 56 years old.

I am wondering how many of us are in a mid-life crisis and realizing how far we have fallen short, in terms of lamenting our progress toward pursuing spiritual goals, and falling short of reaching the image of the LORD?

I am reading a book by Paul Tripp in this regard. It is called Lost in the Middle.

I would enthusiastically recommend reading it. However, I'm looking for other resources regarding those in a mid-life crisis, where you have realized how far you have fallen short of your spiritual aspirations.

With regards to those who are younger than 40, I would ask that you refrain from responding to this thread. You likely aren't old enough yet to know what it means to fall short of the desire to please the LORD. You are likely still deceiving yourself into believing you will accomplish your goals in this regard in the future. I won't have much patience for your youthful preaching and contempt.

I would ask those who are over 40 to respond, and not those under 40. For those over forty, i would encourage your input in terms of materials and sermons regarding this topic, and your thoughts on your experiences with growing older as a believer.
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
6,197
6,768
113
#2
As a 54 year old, I use to spend far too much time lamenting over mistakes and lacking in my past. I wasted so much time in guilt and shame...barrrroooo.

I find that once we realize this living thing isn't a race or a contest but rather... each given day another opportunity to serve our Lord, to grow closer everyday, it makes the journey more peaceful, purposeful and so much more hopeful.

We can learn from those younger and older, don't you think? I sometimes see younger ppl far more along than me and before I reflect too long on the comparison, lol, I look to see what I can glean from their walk, their faith.

I use to spend too much time, sometimes still do, thinking about me and my own salvation. He has been reaching me, teaching me to not go inward but rather think about how I can serve others and Him better. I think this is what He wants from us. I think this brings Him honor.

Lord help us love and serve you and others more and more.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,407
1,039
113
#3
Jesus said he would complete a good work in us, all of us have fallen short but then again how we measure and how God measures are 2 different scales.
If we compare ourselves to others we will always find a lacking or a boasting so let's set our eyes on the perfect one Jesus.
Trusting in him as our judge and savior.

Not all are called to call fire from heaven...or preach the gospel to many.....some are called to the more simpler task as a faithful spouse, parent, friend. And in this day and age it's not so simple.
It's a beautiful heart that wants to please the Lord but on our best day our works are as filthy rags. So let's make and keep our first offering to the Lord ....availability...., and the second contentment. There you will find his peace.
There are so many would of....should of .....could ofs in my life that I regret and then I am reminded that God is the author and finisher of my faith not me. He's begun the work and is faithful and just to complete it.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
2,194
1,258
113
#4
Not sure I can respond correctly. Im over 40 and under 70. My crises these days are more latelife than midlife. I spent a majority of my adult life either a Buddhist or very agnostic and hedonistic. Im counting on God being pleased that at least I go to Church most Sundays.
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
6,756
1,248
113
#5
I am 56 years old.

I am wondering how many of us are in a mid-life crisis and realizing how far we have fallen short, in terms of lamenting our progress toward pursuing spiritual goals, and falling short of reaching the image of the LORD?

I am reading a book by Paul Tripp in this regard. It is called Lost in the Middle.

I would enthusiastically recommend reading it. However, I'm looking for other resources regarding those in a mid-life crisis, where you have realized how far you have fallen short of your spiritual aspirations.

With regards to those who are younger than 40, I would ask that you refrain from responding to this thread. You likely aren't old enough yet to know what it means to fall short of the desire to please the LORD. You are likely still deceiving yourself into believing you will accomplish your goals in this regard in the future. I won't have much patience for your youthful preaching and contempt.

I would ask those who are over 40 to respond, and not those under 40. For those over forty, i would encourage your input in terms of materials and sermons regarding this topic, and your thoughts on your experiences with growing older as a believer.
As a late 40 believer, I take comfort in that God is a spirit and he also sees my spirit which is in Christ Jesus and hence is perfect.

I declare everyday I am righteousness of God in Christ. Based on that renewal of my mind, I walk out that perfection in my daily life.
 

Heyjude

Active member
Sep 7, 2019
277
121
43
#6
Good question!

I am 57 years old.

I think it starts with some sort of break up or break down. There seems to come a point in many people's lives, including mine many years ago, where all the past things are shipwrecked, destroyed and dispersed ready for the new.

One thing I have noticed is that people are either getting better or getting worse.

But to get better sometimes we need our illusions shattered so we do not continue on with a delusion. Things have to be brought back to nought - melted down to nothing, to start again and rebuild a person. That's when that person either survives or doesn't. Many don't and that's a sad thing or fog blinds their minds with addictions so they can't even see or think straight. Can you blame them? No. Life hurts and Love hurts.

I always think of how Abraham was told to "come away from his father's house" which involves just dumping your old life and going on a path for a new one, willingly or unwillingly. God will grab you whether you like it or not and call you out. There seems to be so many examples of it in scripture - how great men are called out of their own place and put in a new place whether they want to or not.

It may mean that at that time, you say to yourself, “What the hell? Everything in my life has been destroyed, there are attacks at every point, every place, and nothing goes right". That seems to me the point when we are in disintegration from the old ready for the new if we can hold faith. I don't think Jesus will let you go even if things seem dark.

The sun always follows the rain and we know that. And the deeper you fall into that bottomless pit, the higher you can rise after. You can also mean that when you survive that, you can empathise with others too - as you can know how lost they are because you have been lost and found yourself.

You want them to "make it" but many don't. That's been the hardest part of my life - seeing so many fall and not make it, mainly due to addiction. There is no other words other than "it's just sad" when you think of their end. But many good examples of men out there, show that courage and faith in the face of darkness are needed and we can all fight the good fight if we keep the faith. Learning to control your own thoughts is a good start. It takes years of practice to do that. The film “Space Odyssey” has symbols of how you have to turn off “HAL” (the machine man). There are many messages in Art. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a symbol speaks a thousand pictures.

And sometimes we need all the dross in our lives to be cleared out as we do carry a lot of driftwood and need to shake all that dross off. Guilt, fear, regret, people around that drain our energy daily, all the normal things humans carry in life like a big lump of lead of our backs. But whatever happens to us, happened to Jesus worse.

No man was treated worse than He was and he didn't even do anything to deserve it. So we are supposed to consider it an honour when we are abused, hated, treated badly, even by our own families, as Jesus warned that there would be much strife and contention in every household. It's almost like you are put into the refiners fire to see what's left. A baptism of fire. Where were his friends when he was being abused? How he must have felt to be beaten, struck, crucified and mocked? And yet even He says, consider it an honour for the prophets were also abused, even murdered before we were. This verse should never make anyone ever feel alone. We have many brothers and sisters in Christ we haven't even met yet, let alone those we know already. This gives us hope in the future, even in the face of darkness.

So we must be doing something right even if things look wrong sometimes. Vincent Furnier was saying as much - (Alice Cooper to most) about his Christian walk recently. Even he says it was "Alice Cooper" who was the addict - not him. There is a lot to learn from those who have come through the other side. I heard someone say recently that the biggest "up yours" to Satan - would be to put Alice Cooper as Jesus in a new production of "Jesus Christ Superstar". That I found funny. I helps to have a merry heart sometimes or we can become like "Eeyore" in Winnie the Pooh. Just a misery guts who puts a negative slant on everything. Those people can be such a drag. Even if they don't mean to be.

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matt 5.12)

Sometimes you are led to just dump everything and be on your own for a bit. I spent ten years of my life going to the extreme after much trauma in my family, one thing after the other and no resolutions. So I went to a mountain place, rented a house and spent my time with myself going through the disintegration and rebuilding of myself. This was the time I was most in touch with how I was becoming a new creation. I realised that the "putting off the old man" means that a new person is created and the old one gone and departed. We often look back and say "why did I do that? How could I have said that or behaved that way?" Like we were somebody else. It's because we were somebody else, like children. It is hard to even recognise the past self.

Forgiving yourself is the first point. One has to believe we are forgiven. Once we know this is true then we rebuild. If we cannot forgive ourselves, then we should say to our “selfs” “what is so special about you?” Why wouldn't we be forgiven when Jesus said repent and you are forgiven? I guess you either believe him or you don't I choose to believe him.

Become a new creation starts on a new road, a new way and through the narrow gate and off the broadway. It can be lonely though to start, but then if you can go through that, you can go through anything. I enjoy my own company and others around me know that it's hard to get me out to socialise as I would rather be with my music, my family, my dogs and my books as that time on the mountain became a peaceful place. Music folk and writers or artists are people who like being at home (or sometimes playing golf!)

Sometimes we all need to go into ourselves. I know for sure there is a guide guiding me, an unseen hand at work as there are too many things when you get older that you look back on and say "wow". Who would believe this account?

I read many (many) books when I was on that isolated mountain, looking for the answer, not just scripture. Some of them were useless, but others really helped.

One of the many books I read which really almost described how a man is actually built (almost like a machine) was P D Ouspensky "In search of the Miraculous".

His description of life spent with George Ivanovich Gurdjieff who was a mystic, philosopher, and spiritual teacher is not for the faint hearted - not at all! I would NOT RECOMMEND this book to anyone unless you arm yourself with Faith first. As you can get lost down a labyrinth of ideas and must keep the faith while you are reading it. But if you can survive it, its a real eye opener.

This book is maybe for the older Christians who have got out of the bottomless pit and been restored and rebuilt. Music helps too. Bob Dylan once said “music is religion” and not many knew what he meant. But over the centuries, poets and artists have written lyrics to express themselves when the time would not allow them to so openly to express it plainly.

Somehow the medium of music to carry the lyrics makes it so much stronger a lasting impression, don't you think?
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
27,155
4,362
113
#7
Not sure I can respond correctly. Im over 40 and under 70. My crises these days are more latelife than midlife. I spent a majority of my adult life either a Buddhist or very agnostic and hedonistic. Im counting on God being pleased that at least I go to Church most Sundays.
I'm a bit confused. According to your Profile Page, you claim to be Christian, and you were saved at birth. How does that relate to your statement above?
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
27,155
4,362
113
#8
Regarding the OP, "older" Christians are well past 40, and 54 or so is just barely at the threshold of being an "older" Christian. You guys get back with me AFTER your 65th Birthday......

Trust me on this...no matter how you feel now, when you turn 65 it will feel like you ran head long into a brick wall at 100 MPH...….. Physically, that is. Everything you used to do without even thinking about it will suddenly become a "task."

As for pleasing God, one thing about being an "older" Christian is one has matured enough to know that they have or have not accomplished what God purposed them to do. And/or are still doing His will. Mid life crisis is not for Believers. Some have a crisis of faith, but mid life is not "older."

I suggest that if someone feels as if they are not doing what God purposed them to do, that they get busy doing! Each of us was saved for a purpose, and each of us has a purpose to fulfill in our service to Him. Find out what it is and get busy.......you won't have time for a crisis regardless of what stage/age of life you are in.

Ephesians, Chapter 2:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,711
1,917
113
#10
As a 54 year old, I use to spend far too much time lamenting over mistakes and lacking in my past. I wasted so much time in guilt and shame...barrrroooo.

I find that once we realize this living thing isn't a race or a contest but rather... each given day another opportunity to serve our Lord, to grow closer everyday, it makes the journey more peaceful, purposeful and so much more hopeful.

We can learn from those younger and older, don't you think? I sometimes see younger ppl far more along than me and before I reflect too long on the comparison, lol, I look to see what I can glean from their walk, their faith.

I use to spend too much time, sometimes still do, thinking about me and my own salvation. He has been reaching me, teaching me to not go inward but rather think about how I can serve others and Him better. I think this is what He wants from us. I think this brings Him honor.

Lord help us love and serve you and others more and more.
Regarding my remark about younger believers on this topic, I am not claiming that younger believers have no insight. However, I know that as a younger Christian I simply thought my mother was a "slacker" due to my perceptions of her spiritual lethargy. I had little compassion for her situation, not realizing the complexity of her particular challenges.

In other words, I didn't really particularly care to be told by a younger Christian to "suck it up". On the other hand, a younger Christian friend and I were talking about thoughts regarding this topic, and he related to the same general thoughts I was having, yet for a different reason other than age.

By the way, according to the book I referenced, about 1/3 of believers go through this sort of deep introspective stage, usually triggered by a traumatic event or realization about the temporary nature of life. Perhaps they are watching a parent slowly decay toward death. Or, a loved one has a lingering, fatal illness. This causes them to focus more on their own ultimate appointment with death. And, as some have mentioned, this can be a motivation toward pursuing spiritual growth more diligently.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
33,796
11,517
113
66
Tennessee
#11
Regarding the OP, "older" Christians are well past 40, and 54 or so is just barely at the threshold of being an "older" Christian. You guys get back with me AFTER your 65th Birthday......

Trust me on this...no matter how you feel now, when you turn 65 it will feel like you ran head long into a brick wall at 100 MPH...….. Physically, that is. Everything you used to do without even thinking about it will suddenly become a "task."
I will be turning 65 in 4 months.

I understand about the 'task' reference as I perform certain tasks each day regardless of how I may feel. That's what I call them too, 'tasks'. Life for me is a series of tasks, which is another way of saying building an enduring personal relationship with the Lord one step at a time living one day at a time. "Line upon line, precept upon precept. A little here, a little there." Tasks.

About the hitting of the brick wall, for that I would take Advil because it is advanced medicine for pain. At least that is the claim.

For an 'older' Christian you have a lot of spiritual wisdom that only comes from prayer and experience.

Us older Christians have to stay together for we have crossed the threshold and hopefully have prepared the path for others to follow.

I will get back to you.
 

Mission21

Pathfinder
Mar 12, 2019
336
326
63
#12
Regarding the OP, "older" Christians are well past 40, and 54 or so is just barely at the threshold of being an "older" Christian. You guys get back with me AFTER your 65th Birthday......

Trust me on this...no matter how you feel now, when you turn 65 it will feel like you ran head long into a brick wall at 100 MPH...….. Physically, that is. Everything you used to do without even thinking about it will suddenly become a "task."

As for pleasing God, one thing about being an "older" Christian is one has matured enough to know that they have or have not accomplished what God purposed them to do. And/or are still doing His will. Mid life crisis is not for Believers. Some have a crisis of faith, but mid life is not "older."

I suggest that if someone feels as if they are not doing what God purposed them to do, that they get busy doing! Each of us was saved for a purpose, and each of us has a purpose to fulfill in our service to Him. Find out what it is and get busy.......you won't have time for a crisis regardless of what stage/age of life you are in.

Ephesians, Chapter 2:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I turned 65 years old..last year.
----
I agree with you about..
- "Into brick wall at 100 MPH.." Lol
---
New phase on my 'spiritual journey' ..45+years.
- Refocus/renew commitment.. tasks/assignments.

Blessings,
 

bluto

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2016
1,720
358
83
#13
I am 56 years old.

I am wondering how many of us are in a mid-life crisis and realizing how far we have fallen short, in terms of lamenting our progress toward pursuing spiritual goals, and falling short of reaching the image of the LORD?

I am reading a book by Paul Tripp in this regard. It is called Lost in the Middle.

I would enthusiastically recommend reading it. However, I'm looking for other resources regarding those in a mid-life crisis, where you have realized how far you have fallen short of your spiritual aspirations.

With regards to those who are younger than 40, I would ask that you refrain from responding to this thread. You likely aren't old enough yet to know what it means to fall short of the desire to please the LORD. You are likely still deceiving yourself into believing you will accomplish your goals in this regard in the future. I won't have much patience for your youthful preaching and contempt.

I would ask those who are over 40 to respond, and not those under 40. For those over forty, i would encourage your input in terms of materials and sermons regarding this topic, and your thoughts on your experiences with growing older as a believer.
Well, for me it's not hard to look at your past as a Christian and "lament" that I wish I had done more. Since it is now "water over the bridge" my heart now has a sense of "urgency." You can see this in the Apostle Paul's life and writings as if he's a human "dynamo." If you look the word up it says among other things, "a person who acts and gets things done." So, for the younger crowd, get busy and always remember your calling is other people. Btw, I will be 75 in January. :eek:

IN GOD THE SON,
bluto
 

Lightskin

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2019
3,165
3,661
113
#14
Embracing the simplicity of Jesus Christ allows for peace. Turbulence sets in when we get too headstrong. We all have spiritual gifts; embrace them while loving God and neighbor; God will take care of the rest.
 
Jun 10, 2019
4,304
1,652
113
#15
Well I’m 51 stuck in the Eighties what a pain remembering all the passwords though I think old horses can learn new tricks, lol
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,711
1,917
113
#16
Well I’m 51 stuck in the Eighties what a pain remembering all the passwords though I think old horses can learn new tricks, lol
It doesn't help that different sites require different characters to be included..so you need about five or six different passwords due to different site rules.
 
Jun 10, 2019
4,304
1,652
113
#17
It doesn't help that different sites require different characters to be included..so you need about five or six different passwords due to different site rules.
At my work I have multiple passwords and identifications can’t be word in the dictionary, symbol, number all kinds crazy stuff, and it resets every three months, can’t use the same password in the last 5 yrs, haha
 
Jun 10, 2019
4,304
1,652
113
#18
About the thread who’s to say if anyone will not make another mistake.
 
Jun 10, 2019
4,304
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#19
If mistakes will happen in the future then there’s no reason to dwell on past ones. recognize the past and be prepared for the future