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Friday, June 3, 2016

Gray is the New Black (Proverbs 22:17-18)

"Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach,
for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips."

Lack of respect for older people, their wisdom, and experience increasingly characterizes 
Generations X and Y (those born in the late 70's through the early 90's). This generation follows young and fashionable music and Hollywood icons while disregarding those with gray hair and life experience. 

One particular situation comes to mind illustrating this reality:

Recently, as I attended a multi-generational women's meeting, I was amused to watch trendy, younger women, who together represent several decades of graduate school education, interface with the older women (those with gray hair and those of us who color their gray hair) in the room who represent several centuries of life experience and education. The graduate school education and positions of the younger women brought them to the table and gave them a voice; sadly, several seemed to have disengaged their hearing while sitting at the table with the older women. 




Those with gray hair may not be as technologically "savvy" but they still have plenty to offer. Those without gray hair, who devalue the experience of the previous generation and defer to the exalted views of their peers, make two grave errors: they reject one of God's ordained way of discovering wisdom and they potentially drink from the broken cisterns of the worldly wisdom. They need older people who will speak into their lives. 

Throughout the book of Proverbs Solomon offers wisdom to "my son" and others from the following generation. A wise son (and daughter) pays attention to the wisdom offered by previous generations. According to Proverbs, gray is the new black.

Proverbs 22:17-24:22 offers thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge from a variety of wise people to those who will listen. Summarize each of the sayings listed below:
  1. 22:22-23 - the poor
  2. 22:24-25 - angry people
  3. 22:26-27 - the risk of securing debt
  4. 22:28 - honoring property boundaries
  5. 22:29 - value of developing a skill
  6. 23:1-3 - showing restraint
  7. 23:4-5 - showing restraint
  8. 23:6-8 - behavior while with stingy people
  9. 23:9 - teaching a fool
  10. 23:10-11 - honoring property boundaries
  11. 23:12 - discipline of children
  12. 23:15-16 - discipline of children
  13. 23:17-18 - envy
  14. 23:19-21 - the behavior of a wise son
  15. 23:22-23 - the behavior of wise children
  16. 23:24-25 - benefits of discipline
  17. 23:26-28 - sons and fathers
  18. 23:29-35 - drunkenness
  19. 24:1-2 - envy
  20. 24:3-4 - warning about schemers
  21. 24:5-6 - wise sons
  22. 24:7 - behavior of fools and interaction with fools
  23. 24:8-9 - scheming
  24. 24:10 - handling pressure
  25. 24:11-12 - suffering oppression
  26. 24:13-14 - value of wisdom
  27. 24:15-16 - the wicked, the righteous and their suffering
  28. 24:17-18 - gloating
  29. 24:19-20 - fretting
  30. 24:21-22 - punishment of the rebellious
Write one of today's wise sayings on an index card and meditate on it throughout the day until it is memorized. 


Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help you practice this particular truth until it becomes a wise habit in your own life.