There are many advantages to youth. The drive and excitement to change the world, for example. Most of us during our younger years believe we know what is wrong with the world and some even launch efforts to bring about change. Unfortunately, most of the time those efforts fall victim to the establishment of the day.
There are also advantages to age. While many who set out with the ideals of youth and run into road blocks become cynical, some gain wisdom. Through that wisdom they learn that even if they really do know how fix the world, it may not be as simple as it seems.
I was reminded of this in watching the movie Amazing Grace. William Wilberforce was in his twenties when he became a member of the British Parliament and began his campaign to abolish slavery. His friend of the same age William Pitt became Great Britain’s youngest Prime Minister. These two men had grand ideas and, against the odds, accomplished much, but Wilberforce was seventy-four when the act to abolish slavery was finally passed.
Young, idealist leaders capture the hearts of the disenchanted, many of whom are young themselves. Sometimes ignorance of “how things are done” is bliss. Other times experience is golden. What we must remember is not to be swayed by passion and ideals alone. We must look at the character of the person. What is his or her motivation, and where are their ideals rooted? As Christians, the driving force behind anyone we support politically or otherwise, should be in line with the Word of God. Compromising God’s truth is never beneficial to a nation.