Joyce Meyer - Aging Without Getting Old - Part 1
Thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, I am releasing a new book called, "How To Age Without Getting Old". Now, I know, depending on what age you are right now, you may have more or less interest in a subject like that. But I think everybody should be interested because to be honest, every single day that we live we are aging. Nobody can be on the earth and not age. Actually, every moment, every hour that we live, we are aging. But that can be a good thing, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. What we don't wanna do is start thinking, "I'm old". So, you can age without beginning to think, "I'm old and now I can't do this, and I can't do that, and I can't do something else". And if you will really open your heart and listen to some of the things that I'm gonna say today, you can do things to slow down the aging process that will help you be stronger, look better, and feel better, even when you're on up there in years.
Do you know if you're in your twenties, someday you're gonna be 75? If you're in your forties, someday you're gonna have to go sign up for Medicare. It happens to all of us. I'm 77 right now. But I don't feel like I'm 77 because I don't sit around and think, "I'm old". I'm determined to keep being fruitful and bear fruit, as long as I'm living. I trust God to keep me as strong as I possibly can be, but I also don't just trust God to do it all for me, I do things that he has shown me to do, that help me stay strong. I want you to really open your heart to listen to this today. 2 Corinthians 4:16, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away", yes, our bodies will start to look older. "Yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day". So, one thing can be going on in my body, but something totally different going on inside.
As I said, "I'm 77," my body has been on this earth 77 years. But inwardly we can keep being renewed and that happens based on how we think, and also the way we choose to live our life as far as: how peaceful we remain, and the things that we think about, and the things that we do with our time. And you know really, your real life, is in you. We live two lives: we live an outward life, and we live an inward life. And at different times when I've had occasion to minister to men and women who are actually in prison, I've told them, "You can still have a good life while you're in here, because there are people that are out in the world supposedly free, that are actually in greater prisons than somebody in a prison would have to be if they lived their life right on the inside".
How we think has everything to do with the quality of life that we have. We learn from experience. The Bible says that we learn from the Word of God and from life's experiences. So, really every year that you add to your life, you should be wiser than you were the year before. You know, I know a lot of stuff now because I've lived a long time. Have you ever heard anybody say or have you said, "I wish I would've known when I was 20 what I know now"? Well, what we mean by that is, "I would have done things a lot differently, if I would've known how my choices then we're going to affect me now". But the thing is, is you can't know when you're 20 what you know when you're 50, because you haven't yet lived out those years or had the experience. But what you can do, is you can listen to people that have already made that journey.
That's why the Bible says that it's wise to listen to older people because they have had more experience than you have. How many times have we tried to tell our kids, "Don't do that, you're making a mistake if you do that"? And they just won't listen, and you wish for their sake that they would, because you know how their choice is going to turn out. So, let's be open to listening and not think that we know everything, before we've had an experience to do anything. So, one of the things that I've learned from experience has a lot to do with stress, and we're going to be talking about stress in these teachings that I'll be doing for the next couple of days. First of all, I got to the point where I made myself really, really sick. You know, we all tend to think we're invincible and we can just do, go, do, do, and really our whole society is about doing, and succeeding, and working. I mean, we just almost worship work. But that's not all your life should be about. We should enjoy our lives, and we should take the time to enjoy the things that God has given us to enjoy.
Yes, we all need to work, but we don't need to do nothing but work. I was raised in a dysfunctional home where my father abused me. And so I felt worthless, I felt guilty, and I felt bad about myself, and I got a lot of my worth and value out of what I did. And it took me probably 50 years to get over that. And if you're one of those kind of people who, your value is connected to what you do, then more than likely, you're gonna overdo and it's gonna end up having an effect on you that you're not gonna like. So, a couple times in my life I made myself sick. But at the end of 2017, I got really sick, and I mean it happened really suddenly. I mean, I'd been seeing some warning signs all along, but I just got up one morning and I just felt absolutely horrible. And my mouth was burning, my mouth was dry, I was shaky, I mean I felt really, really, really bad.
Long story short, many doctor's visits and all the same stuff, people looking at me and saying, "We have no idea what's wrong with you"? Or "It's just stress," "It''s just your nerves". And you know, there's nothing that a stressed-out person hates to hear more than, "It's stress". Let me say that again, there's nothing that a stressed-out person wants to hear less than, "You're stressed". See, for a lot of years, I didn't understand what stress was. I thought stress meant you couldn't handle life. But there's all kinds of stress in the world and we're gonna talk some about that in a future teaching. But some of the things I did that were wrong was I said, "Yes" to too many things. Are you a person who doesn't know how to say, "No"? If you don't get over that, you're gonna age faster than you have to.
I traveled too much in the ministry. I exercised too much. I did a walking program where I walked 5 miles every day and let me tell you when I say every day, I mean every day. I was bullheaded but not in a good way. I walked if it was raining, I walked if it was cold, I walked if it was hot. And it's good to exercise and it's good to walk, but anything that we overdue becomes harmful to us. Even a good thing, if you do too much of it, it's gonna end up hurting you. I took on a false sense of responsibility for too many other people's problems. And I got sick and I wasn't getting well. All I thought about all the time was what I needed to do, and I didn't rest enough. I got sleep at night, but it wasn't really good quality sleep. And so I've learned a lot since then, and I hope that I can share some things with you that will really help you in your life.
Here's a statement that I heard Henry Cloud make and I thought it was absolutely wonderful, "Anyone who thinks they can always do, what they've always done, is a fool". Well, see that's kind of the way I was. During that period of time before I ended up getting sick, I had, had to have a hip replacement and I didn't rest long enough after that. I mean, yeah, my hip wasn't hurting, I could walk, I could do things. But anytime you have a surgery it takes a toll on your body, and I just needed to rest longer and I didn't want to do it. Part of the reason was, I just didn't want to tell people I couldn't do things, it was a point of pride. We always have to be willing to change, and you have to be willing to change all the time, as God shows you that you need to.
Matthew 11:28-30, you know this scripture, but let's apply this to what we're talking about today. "Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest". But I can tell you he's not talkin' about layin' down and takin' a nap. As you'll see, he's talkin' about rest for your weary souls, the inside of you. The part that the Word of God says can be, "Renewed day by day, even though our outer man is wasting away, our inner man can be renewed day by day". You know one of the things that will keep you young is don't worry about anything, learn how to live in peace. The moment that you get anxious about anything, do what Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God: and the peace that passes understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". Matthew 11 going back says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will give you rest. I will ease relieve and refresh your souls".
Can I suggest to you that some of you need to give your soul a vacation? You need to rest. You need to stop being angry. You need to forgive everybody that you've got anything against. You need to stop complaining. All those things, take a toll on us. "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls". It sounds like he's saying, "I can give you a vacation for your soul". "For my yoke is wholesome (useful, good, it is not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing). My burden is light and easy to be borne". You know, if you're worn out all the time, then I can tell you you're not following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. God will never give us more than what we can do and remain peaceful and be rested.
Now, that doesn't mean if you work all day, you're not gonna come home tired at night. But to be honest, that kind of physical tired after a hard day's work is not a bad thing, it's just a sign that you need to rest. God loves us and he wants us to enjoy our lives. What is your soul? It's your mind, your will, and your emotions. Let me ask you a question, "What kind of mind do you have? Are you worried all the time? Do you think about negative things all the time"? Every bit of it, if you do that year after year, it's gonna make you old faster than you need to be. We're all aging every day, every one of us. But we don't have to pass a certain age and start thinking, "Well, I'm old now". Age is a number but old is a mindset. What about when you start getting social security checks? Mmm, well, can't believe I'm getting social security checks now. But that doesn't mean that I have to get old. No matter how many years you add to your life, there's two things that are very important.
Dick Van Dyke said this when he was in his nineties and I love it. He said, "Two things are the most important as you age is that you have a purpose and someone to love". And I think you know, even the whole thing about retirement, we have to be so careful that we don't think that we're gonna work hard all these years just so we can then sit around and do nothing. A statement that I love is, "The more you can do, the less you can do". I'm 77 and I still workout with a trainer 3 times every week. I stay active. I'm still doing my television. I'm still writing books. I do less than I used to do. I had to make some changes and I had to learn how to say, "No" to a lot of things but I'm still very fruitful. I don't want to just sit on a couch all day and do absolutely nothing. Even if you are gonna retire, stay active, volunteer, do something to help people. Keep your mind active, don't just sit around and be unhappy because now you have nothing to do. Keep doing what you can do, but don't be upset about what you cannot do.
Now, let me say that again, "Keep doing what you can do, but don't be upset about what you can't do". Recently, I had to lower some of my weights in the gym. I was having some problems with a shoulder, and so maybe where I could lift 20 lbs before I had to go down to 10 pounds. Well, I didn't like it. Nobody likes to see a decrease in what you're able to do. And my trainer, he's a very positive guy and he said, "Don't think about what you used to be able to do, think about what you're still able to do now". And he's a very encouraging guy and he says, "I know people half your age, that can't do what you're doing right now". So, let's be happy for what we can do, instead of murmuring all the time, "Well, I used to be able to do this and now I can't. I used to be able to do that and now I can't". It's part of life. There's nothing you can do about it. Don't compare yourself with other people. Don't look at somebody else that can do more than you and think, "Well why can't I do that"?
Now, I teach this stuff and not too long ago, I was in a gym and I was usin' a leg press machine. It's basically, you sit down and you put a certain amount of weight on this machine and you press it up with your legs. Well, you know, there was a time when I could press a hundred and twenty, a hundred and thirty pounds. Well, that particular day, I was pressing 70 pounds. And then I noticed there was another girl in there that looked to be about, eh, maybe in her mid-twenties, and we were both using the machine intermittently. And without even realizing what I was doing after she got done, I would go over to the machine to use it, but I would check to see how much weight she was using. And then when I sat down, I thought, "Well, I should be able to do that too". And thank God I realized what I was doing before I hurt myself, because the worst thing you can do is compare yourself with other people and think that you should always be able to do what they do.
What each one of us needs to do is follow the Holy Spirit and do what we feel like he gives us the grace to do in our own lives. You know, I know people my age, or even older, that still travel out of the country and do mission trips. Well, you know what? I've had the privilege of doing 67 mission trips in my life, but I had to stop doing them a couple a years ago because they were just taking too much out of me. And I miss it, I wish I could go, I love being in those other countries, but I can't do that, but I can still do this. I can preach the Gospel all over the world by being on television by being here today and doing what I can do. I'm gettin' ready to start a new book. I can do that and that book can reach hundreds of thousands of people. Do what you can do, and stop being sad about what you cannot do. Come on, somebody needs to hear that today. I mean, even if you're in your thirties, you don't need to be comparing yourself with what somebody else can do. You need to find your sweet spot in life and live where God wants you to be, not where somebody else is. The Bible tells us that God rested one day, out of seven, after he created the world in 6 days and it says, "God rested". Well, you know what? If God rested surely, we can believe that we need to rest.
Let me ask you a few questions: do you get enough sleep? One out of three people do not get enough sleep, that's gonna take its toll on you over the years. Some people are just, they almost brag, "Oh, I only need 4 hours sleep a night". Well, there may be a few people in the world that, that's truly all their body needs, but most people need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. And I wanna encourage you to start getting the rest that you need. Do you drink enough water?
You say, "Well Joyce, what do you mean do I drink enough water? Did I turn this program on today for you to talk to me about my water"? Yes, how would you like your skin to look when you're 65, do you want it to be all dry and wrinkly? If you drink enough water all the time to keep yourself hydrated, it is going to make a difference in how you look as you get older. How much time do you spend in the sun with no sunblock on? You know, that's the number one thing that causes people to get wrinkles, is being in the sun without any kind of protection. There are things that you can do that will help you stay young. Things that you can do physically, ways you can take care of yourself, keeping your skin moisturized, simple things. But the main thing is how you think, don't starts thinking, "I'm old, I'm old, I'm old". Age is a number but old is a mindset. God's got a good life for you, I mean the Bible says that we can bear more fruit.
Let's hear Psalm 92:14, "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green". Well, that's my goal, I wanna continue to bear good fruit, no matter how old I am. You know, I had a grandfather that lived to be a 102. One grandmother was 93. My mom was 90. My aunt was 90. I'm planning to live a long time and I'm not planning to live it just sitting in a chair being bored all the time. I'm planning to bear good fruit even in my old age. And you know what? It doesn't bother me to tell you how old I am. You know why? Because I have learned from experience that I need to take care of myself. And if you'll listen to me today, if you'll even listen a little bit, and start taking care of yourself now.
You know what? Wisdom does now, what it's gonna be happy with later on. Did you hear me? Wisdom does now, what it's gonna be happy with later on. And later on always comes. If you're 25, and you're sittin' and watchin' me today, I'd like you to say out loud, "Someday, I'm gonna be 75". Go ahead, just say it, "Someday I'm gonna be 75". Matter of fact everybody, if you're not 75 say that, "Someday I'm gonna be 75". And then remember that what you do now, is gonna determine what kind of shape you're in when you're 75. You know, a lot of people might say, I mean, I hear a lot of times, "Well you know, you really look good for your age". Well, I've had to invest to do that. I started working out 15 years ago. I drink a lot of water. I get a good night sleep every night. I've learned how to say, "No," and not take on more than what I need to take on.
And in this book that I've written, "How To Age Without Getting Old", you're gonna learn some things that I think are really going to be a blessing and a benefit to you. And we're offering this book to you today for your gift to the ministry of any amount. I really want you to have this book. And you know what? This is a book that you could get your parents, a book that you could get friends. I think that you can look forward to having a long, healthy, fruitful life, but you have to start taking care of yourself now. Where are you on your list of people that you take care of? Are you at the bottom or are you even on that list at all? Get this new book, "How To Age Without Getting Old", your gift to the ministry to any amount and we'll use it to help people all over the world. Thank you so much for being with us today, and I encourage you to tune in again tomorrow and get more of this story.