“For a life well-lived, you’ll receive a crown of splendor.” That’s a motivating thought, but not a Bible verse. According to Prov. 16:31, a crown of splendor is…wait for it…

gray hair.

Here’s the whole verse. “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” So for all this work, our reward is…gray hair? I could make wisecracks all day long, but to cut to the chase, I think the author of the Proverbs was making a point about wisdom.

The wisdom of age.

Wisdom means “knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.”

This got me to thinking about the traits of the wise people I know. They are thoughtful and insightful. They think before they speak, so their words carry weight and meaning. They learn from experience and continually grow. They are respected even by those who disagree with them because of their integrity. They are secure in themselves and don’t have to fight for dominance. They are generally kind.

And interestingly, I wrote down “their lives are aligned with their values,” but by that I mean positive values like honesty, etc.  Some people’s lives are aligned with their negative values, but I wouldn’t call them wise. The scripture above speaks of attaining the crown in the way of righteousness, not unrighteousness.

I also see a lot of naivety, which is defined as lack of wisdom. I see people believing silly things, wishing the facts would line up with their wants. However, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.”

I don’t hear the word “wisdom” much anymore. Maybe it’s time for a comeback. I mean, why let all this gray hair go to waste?

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