“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”
“You’re Worth It”
Do you remember the old hair-coloring commercials that tried to convince us that coloring one’s hair was worth the money and time, because, after all, “you’re worth it”?
Another advertisement for hair color contained a jingle which went, “I’m gonna wash that grey right out of my hair” (Clairol). What we the purpose of all this nonsense? The purpose was to appear younger.
Well, believe it or not, the longer one lives, the more wisdom he or she obtains and grey hair should be the emblem of their success. Where that crown! You’re worth it!
The Right Head
The “hoary head” is another way of saying the head that has white or grey hair. Solomon is saying that he who is blessed with that hair is blessed with a crown of glory, so long as he is in the “way of righteousness.” Without righteousness and godly wisdom, all that grey hair just means you’re old.
I never thought I would live long enough for this verse to mean anything to me, but here I am, 48, with a silvery-gray goatee that constantly battles the razor that shaves my head. Some have asked, “Why don’t you color your facial hair?” My response is simple: I don’t want to look immature.
I don’t know about you, but I have battled with looking young all my life. For most that would be a blessing worth millions, but not for a preacher. I don’t want to look like a 25-year-old hipster who goes through a gallon of hair product a month to look good on T.V. I don’t want to look like the wavy-blond PhD who managed to get famous for writing 50 pages in 50 books, and probably still sleeps with a teddy bear.
I have earned my “hoary head”! I wan’t to look like the 48-year-old pastor who has faced giants, slain dragons, and changed diapers – all while studying for Sunday morning. Gray is my medal of honor.
Modern culture is quick to throw out the elderly with the trash, and that’s a crying shame. Paul told Timothy (1 Timothy 5:1-2) to treat the older men as fathers, and the older women as mothers. Paul even gave instruction to both Timothy and Titus to seek out the elderly and put their wisdom to use training the younger generations.
When I was young, our teacher made us all stand up in our classroom out of respect for a visiting adult. When a parent or visitor came through the door of our classroom we would stand at attention without even thinking. We were constantly reminded of Leviticus 19:32, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”
You keep your brown and black – my crown is staying gray.