What Does Proverbs 16:31 Mean?

A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 16:31(NASB)

Verse of the Day

In Proverbs 20, we read that the glory of young men is their strength, while the honour of old men is their grey hair. This is reinforced in Proverbs 16, where we read that an old man's grey hair and other symbols of his advancing age should not to be pitied or considered as detrimental, but rather should be praised and seen as a badge of honour.

When a man has trusted God with all his heart during his lifetime and acknowledged the Lord in all his ways, his grey hair should be seen as a laudable crown of glory, which is often rewarded by a long and fruitful life.

This is not to imply that ONLY older people who have honoured the Lord during their lifetime benefit from a long and productive life. Nor is it saying that only people who end up with grey hair can be considered righteous! This verse is rejoicing that the silver-haired head of a godly old man, is a thing in which to rejoice – for it is a crown of splendour and a garland of glory.

Similarly, this is not to insinuate that only older men who have grey hair are crowned with glory, but that an older man (irrespective of his hair or lack of it) who has trusted God in his life, is graced with certain wisdom and sound judgement that comes from above and deserves the respect and honour of the younger generation.

There are many older people who mourn the loss of their good looks or bemoan a decline in their physical fitness, and although physical beauty and youthful strength are often held up as desirable, it is rather the godly wisdom of a mature man-of-God or elderly lady-of-faith that should command the respect and reverence of those that are younger. Old age and a grey head, together with any other badge of advancing years, is a beautiful crown of glory when it is found in the way of righteousness.

When giving instruction to physically strong young men in his first epistle, the apostle John encourages them in their spiritual development. His desire is that they grow in grace and mature in the faith, explaining that when the Word of God abides within their heart, they will overcome the evil one and mature in their faith as they advance in age.

Paul reminds us that although physical fitness is good, we should not only strive after bodily discipline and physical health, but rather engage in our spiritual development by fixing our hope on the living God and trusting in His Word, by faith.

May we all recognise the benefits of a grey head or sagging muscles, knowing that it is a crown of glory when found in the way of righteousness. May we not bemoan the passing of youth but embrace each season in life by looking to Jesus, knowing that when He returns, we will all receive a crown of glory that can never fade away.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wise teachings in the book of Proverbs. I pray that I may take to heart the wisdom that it teaches and apply it to my own life. I pray that with every passing year, I may grow in grace and wisdom, through an increasing knowledge of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I pray that I may embrace every season of life as an opportunity to mature in the faith and grow closer to You. You have said that old age and a grey head of hair is a crown of glory when found in those that are declared righteous, by faith. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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