“A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)
The older I get the more I value maturity. One of my great goals in life is one day to become a person who is wise and mature in my character and conduct.
When we are young, it is easy to act impetuously, giving very little thought to the consequences. I don’t know about you, but it embarrasses me to think back on my life and consider some of the things I have said and done. But, as I have grown older, I have come to realize the value of godly maturity and I strive to accomplish a little more of it each day.
How do we develop such maturity? The Bible teaches us that there are several factors in the process. This week we will consider a few of them.
Following the Example of Those Who Have Gone Before Us
Proverbs 1:8-9 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the laurel crown that centuries ago was given to the ancient Olympic athletes. Simple as that crown of leaves might have been, it identified the athlete as the victor and someone to be honored. Solomon said – “A gray head is a crown of glory…” Those who have lived many years and gained much wisdom are to be honored and emulated.
According to Solomon, a good place to begin developing a similar maturity is by listening to their advice and counsel. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother…” It may be our parents or it may be a family friend. Though their gray hair alone doesn’t make them wise, it is a good indicator that they are someone who has lived a lot of life and no doubt gained a lot of wisdom. Scripture teaches us that we should listen to them and more importantly, we should observe how they are living.
In closing I leave you with these passages of scripture.
Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Leviticus 19:32
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. 1 Peter 5:5
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father… Treat older women as you would your mother… 1 Timothy 5:1-3
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? Job 12:12
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20