PROVERBS 16:31-33: “Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the ways of righteousness. Patience is better than power, and controlling one’s emotions, than capturing a city. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Do you remember the day you graduated from High School? You were filled with youth, energy, and dreams. The world stood before you and you were ready to conquer it. Growing older was not even a consideration. You had your whole life ahead of you.
And, then it happens. One day you wake up and decades have past. You close your eyes and you are the same energy filled teenager. Then, you look in the mirror and you are greeted with the reality of life. Something happened along the way. You grew old.
This is the reality of everyone, even the young person who may be reading this. The question is not whether we will grow old. The real question is – will we grow old grace-fully? (The hyphen is intentional.)
Gray hair is the sign of old age. Yet, it is not necessarily the sign of growing old grace-fully. One’s gray hair is a crown only when they have employed their life in growing in righteousness.
- “Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the ways of righteousness.”
The world is full of gray haired individuals that got stuck somewhere in their youth and have been bound in bitterness and sin. The true crown of growing older is not simply wisdom – it is wisdom that is founded in righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And, this righteousness is manifested in a transformed character.
This character is not the result of a miracle cream. It is the result of yielding to the Spirit of God in our life and allowing Him to mold us into the image of Jesus Christ. This inner transformation does not erase the evidence of years from our complexion, but it does erase the effects of sin from our hearts. And, it transforms our character and how we respond to the everyday issues of life!
- “Patience is better than power, and controlling one’s emotions, than capturing a city. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”
The white hair of the soul is manifested in patient endurance. Patience in walking through the trials of life and patience in dealing with others. This patience refuses to take matters into its own hands. It turns all the concerns of life over to the Lord and trusts Him to work. This patience is the very presence of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in our life!
The true crown of age is the willingness to surrender to the will of God in our lives. It is praying the prayer – “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, in me as it is in heaven.” The true crown of age is learning to seek God and His Kingdom first in every step we take and in every decision we make. It is walking after the Spirit, not lagging behind or running ahead. It is wisdom that is learned in righteousness.
When I look in the mirror now I sense what the Apostle Paul felt when he wrote these words,
- “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
In reality, my hair is gray (well, at least my mustache is), but I am still working on my crown. I am not what I have been called to be and I am not what I used to be. I am in process. And, my goal is to finish my race with patience and grace and receive the heavenly prize, for which God, through Christ Jesus, has reserved for me.
Lord, You know I am still working on this patience thing. And, I struggle at times keeping in step with Your Spirit. I need Your grace! I want to grow old grace-fully! Pour out Your grace upon me today so that I can choose patience over power and Your will over mine.
In Jesus Name!