Do you know what a Blue-Hair is? It is a derogatory term for an older person who gets stuck in their ways, who cannot make good changes simply because change is “bad” and different. It has nothing really to do with the color of one’s hair.

A Blue-Hair is someone who has become satisfied with his or her status with God and believes there is simply nothing more left to learn from Him, nothing new, nothing better and that they are above such lowly services as wiping noses and loving dirty, poor people. They’ve got it all down pat and everyone else, especially the younger folk and people who haven’t been in Church 45 years, had better do things their way, because their way is tested with time. Don’t ask them to step out of their comfort zone. They are convinced that Jesus likes their comfort zone just like it is.

I think I am finally qualified to talk about Blue-Hairs. My hair is fast becoming gray all over, I’ve hit the half century mark. I’ve been in Church all my life and have lots of situations to compare what I know about Blue-Hairism to. And I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt I do not want to be a Blue-Hair. Lord, keep me and help me, because I have tendencies to drift that way.

About 20 years ago when my husband and I first encountered Blue-Hairs in Church we looked at each other and made a solemn vow to keep ourselves and each other from becoming Blue-Hairs. Only recently have I in these past 20 years had to remind Mark, “Your blue hairs are showing.” to which he laughed but quickly took another look at his stance. He does not want to be a Blue Hair either.

What we witnessed all those years ago was a group of older people at Church, aged 50 to 70 something, decide that because some way of doing something at Church was good enough for Great-Grandpappy, it was good enough for them, by-jingies. Try to argue with that. Never mind that we had an influx of people whose Great-Grandpappies never set foot in a Church. Never mind that we needed a way to reach the unsaved in a godly but different way. Never mind.

But Blue-Hairism doesn’t only attack older people. It attacks young people and makes them hard and unloving long before they grow gray hairs. I have seen young people look askance at those who dress differently, speak differently or have different ideas….all with the attitude that they are holy and righteous.
We want to be holy. But being self-righteous is so different from being Jesus-righteous.

Its so easy for us to get that wrong, it seems. Even if a person gets all those areas totally wrong according to God’s Word, Jesus says, Love Them. Teach lovingly. Let Him do the changing. And I’ve seen younger people stop change in a Church just because change is difficult and causes them to work harder. That is rank and file Blue-Hairsm.

Just this week I witnesses Blue-Hairism hit my family. I was really surprised by it. An elderly relative called and was talking about their Church and all the activity. I was enjoying it til they said,

“This new preacher has a mind of his own. He is making us do things that I don’t like.”
“Oh? I said, like what??” (Expecting some kind of heretical sacrilege).
“He makes us hold hands at the end of the service.”
“And some of the children have damp hands.”
“Well, not everyone wants to hold a damp, dirty hand, I don’t”


So I ventured in a happy, upbeat way, “Well, you know, its not about us….”
“Its not about the preacher either!”
“Uh, no. But I guess we should do as Jesus would have done.”
“I don’t think Jesus would want us to hold damp dirty hands.”
“I guess…. I do.”


Well, I felt as though this person had completely missed the WHOLE Gospel boat. Blue-Hairism has attacked and won.

I think of the opposite, and I believe correct attitude, in a story my Pastor told us once at Church. His father in law, a Senior Pastor, had hired a new childrens minister. The new minister was a good man, loving and caring but he didn’t like to have his beautiful suit messed up and he didn’t want to get to involved with the bused in children who were poor and dirty, so he was aloof with the children. At the end of the service the Senior Pastor pulled him aside and told him, “Next week, I want to see snot on your suit.”
And he did.

And that is the lesson. We need to get snot on ourselves. Don’t be a Blue Hair whatever your age. Your Lord and God deserves so much more from you than you sitting back on your laurels and declaring that you’re finished and that you know it all. Offer God’s grace to everyone you meet. Go ahead and take a stand, but make sure its a stand that matters. Blue-Hairs are afraid of snot and damp hands but those are the things Jesus embraced. So should we.

Are your Blue Hairs showing? What can you do to stop it? Thank God right now for pointing it out to you and ask Him for a new heart, a loving, grace-filled heart that welcomes all people and all godly ideas for change, in His Name.