August 8: “The Value of the Young and Old”

7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezra 7:1-8:20
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Psalm 30:1-12
Proverbs 20:28-30

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Proverbs 20:29 (NLT): “The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”

Reflections from Scripture:

In Proverbs 20:29, Solomon reveals what is most celebrated in the young and the old. The young are celebrated for their strength, and the old are celebrated for their gray hair.

Yet, while we can understand the value of strength, we might struggle to understand what value gray hair has. As I reflected on this verse, I read one commentary that said:

“In Hebrew culture the young and the old each had a particular excellence not possessed by the other. The young took pride in their physical strength, the older in their wisdom, revealed by their gray hair.” (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures.)

So, it’s not so much the gray hair that is celebrated. Instead, it’s what the gray hair symbolizes – experience and wisdom.

In our American church culture, we often separate people by age groups. This happens in Sunday School classes where people of similar ages spend time together getting into God’s Word. Then, when we make our way to the worship center for the large group worship, folks tend to stay together – the older with the older and the younger with the younger.

But Proverbs 20:29 tells us that there is value in the old and the young – and we need both. We need folks with strength and energy to get things done, and we need folks with experience and wisdom to inform us which things are the right things to do.

In God’s Kingdom, no one is necessarily more valuable than anyone else. We all have qualities that we can bring to the table to help the church as a whole. We need everyone!

And this means YOU, my friend! If you are a child of God and are a member of a church, YOU are needed. Don’t sit back and assume that you have nothing to offer. YOU are an essential part of what God is doing at your church.

So, pray about what part you can play in the grand scheme of what God is up to in the congregation you are part of. Then, meet with your pastor or someone else in leadership to discover how you can bless your church with what you have to offer.

And as the young and old contribute and work together, you just might see God do even bigger and better things in your church.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, You have said in Your Word that the church is just like a body. We are all different parts of the body, and we are all needed. Help me realize that You have gifted me like no one else in my church, and I need to use my gifts to bless the congregation. Help me also to see the value in others so that we can work together for the furtherance of Your Kingdom and glory. Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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