Back to School

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Proverbs 3:16-18

Understand the benefits of wisdom.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with my older brother, Wayne. With a ten-year gap between us, we have never been extremely close, so the really meaningful exchanges we’ve had over the years are memorable. On this occasion, he argued that he didn’t learn anything of value in high school.

“You’re wrong,” I insisted.

He smiled and shook his head. “No, seriously. I didn’t learn anything in high school–nothing I’ve ever used.”

But he was wrong. Wayne has experienced success running his own business over the years. The things that he has managed to do could not have happened had his learning ceased in middle school. I tried to make my point clear to him: “You can’t point to anything that you learned, but you learned things you aren’t aware of. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to function like you do.”

Ideally, formal education impacts every part of our lives. Biblical wisdom is similar and it doesn’t depend on idealism. When we embrace Biblical wisdom, we reap benefits in our health and our bank account. We enjoy a happier, more secure life.

When I teach students to write, they often resist my modest wisdom on the matter. I want to shake them by the shoulders and say, “Trust me! I’ve been doing this since before you were born.” Then they’ll try something I suggest and marvel at the outcome.

If mere human wisdom, finite and imperfect, can yield such good results, how much more can we expect from the wisdom of the one who created the world and the rules by which it operates?

  • What aspects of your life are better because of your openness to God’s wisdom? What aspects are not better?
  • How do the benefits of wisdom–long life, wealth, honor, pleasure, and happiness–feed each other in your experience?
  • What part does learning about and praying for wisdom have in your devotional life? What can you do to improve that?