Going Gray (a daily proverb)

This devotional series examines a verse or two from a chapter of Proverbs each day of January 2017.

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. ~Proverb 16:31

Health and beauty items are big sellers here in the United States. Always longing for some mystical fountain of youth, having yet to find it we seek to cover over the marks of growing old. Cream to hide wrinkles, concealer to cover dark eye circles, and dye to color hair.

Solomon gives us a different take on aging. Gray hair isn’t something to hide, but is rather the crown of a righteous life.

When dealing with proverbs, we must remember they are meant to cover general truths not every occasion truths. There have been unrighteous and even some exceedingly wicked people who have lived into old age with gray hair. Theirs is not a crown from a righteous life. And there have been righteous and very godly people who have died before gray hairs sprouted.

But in general, what we find through the proverbs is that wise and godly living helps us to avoid many behaviors that can result in a life cut short.

If a person is devoted to following after Jesus, and truly getting to know the One True God, then with age comes greater wisdom and greater righteousness. For these, by the grace of God, have devoted themselves to not be satisfied with simply skating by, spiritually speaking. These are the men and women that Solomon had in mind.

John had a similar thought in his letters:

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:12-13)

This is the progression of spiritual growth. The children have experienced the basics of forgiveness through Christ. The young men and women are like warriors, battling strong against sin and the ways of the old life. The fathers and mothers are those with a deep relationship with the Living God, those who have faithfully walked the path of Jesus and are passing on that legacy to a new generation.

These are the gray-haired of Solomon. Such is the crown that we should pursue.

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