A Crown Of Silver

Jonathan McAnulty

I confess that I have been blessed with the privilege of sitting at the feet of great men of God. I am so very thankful for the wise counsel, lessons, and sermons I have heard from the lips of men who have given their full lives to the service of our Lord and His gospel. Some of these men have gone on to their reward. Others are still living, continuing to serve the people of God with the wisdom God has given them. Such men make the church stronger. Unfortunately, in our youth obsessed culture, we often neglect true treasures as we vainly promote the glories of the temporal and the foolish. 

The scriptures say, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31, NKJV) We should not be so naïve as to think that age equals wisdom in all men. Young fools often become old fools; youthful sinners, after a lifetime of hardening their unrepentant hearts, grow more wicked with each year. Some old men have simply grown nastier and more ignorant with age. 

Yet, when found on the way of righteousness, how marvelous is every silver hair! Such a crown of gray signifies a life well lived and a rich experience in handling the word of God aright. It is sad that so many find their gray hair to be a source of shame and work so hard to dye it away.

That is not to say that there are no advantages to youth. The Bible acknowledges that there are. “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray hair.” (Proverbs 20:29, NKJV) Young men have the advantage of health, strength, and energy; but let us not discount that older men have the advantage, it is to be hoped, of wisdom and experience. Many might think that such a trade-off is hardly fair, preferring health over wisdom and strength over experience. Such a view is both materialistic and shortsighted. Health, like money, is fleeting. Men are like the flowers of the grass that bloom only for a short time and then fade away, but wisdom gleaned from God's word is eternal in nature. (1 Peter 1:24, 25) Why should we value that which we cannot help but lose? Moreover, physical health has an advantage only in this life. Spiritual health, which comes through applying God's word, has a benefit in this life and in the next. (1 Timothy 4:8) The real advantage lies with he who is crowned with silver in the path of righteousness. His glory is eternal, and his wisdom cannot be taken from him. Moreover, his treasure, the experience of a lifetime spent in God's word, is a treasure he can easily share with others, to their benefit. 

Young people, value the wisdom of those who have lived a long life in service to the Lord. Take every opportunity to study under them. When they preach, heed their words attentively. When they have opportunity to teach, make the effort to be there to learn. When you have a problem, do not seek advice from your peers, who, in their youth, are as likely as not to give you poor advice. Rehoboam is an example from scriptures of one who sought advice from the wrong people. He fell into folly and lost over half his kingdom. (2 Chronicles 10). Listen, instead, to the counsel of righteous men who have walked the path of Christ for far longer than you have been alive. If you do so, if you strive to learn from the example and words of those whom God has crowned with glory, you, yourself, will find, at the end of your life, that you, too, have obtained something of great value: a treasure that cannot be stolen and which will serve you well even into the next life. -54549 Saint Joe Rd, Bellaire, OH, 43906. wicht@soundsermons.com

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