The Wisdom We Gain

Read: Proverbs  8

Most of us have heard the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  How old is it?  The earliest it can be found in print is from the year 1534.  But how true is it?  No matter what age we are we continue to learn and grow in wisdom, knowledge, and truth.  It reminds me of the Nationwide Insurance commercial that says, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom.  Much of Proverbs 8 is about wisdom’s call.  Verse 8 says, “For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”  Verse 32 says, “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.”  God’s Word is where we should always start when looking for Godly wisdom, but that wisdom can also be found in the experiences of God’s people as well.

In a recent Seminary class I was blessed to hear wisdom from a 91 year old pastor with close to 70 years of life experiences.  At 91 he was still up on modern culture and the current situations influencing the church.  Wisdom just flowed from his speech as we listened and learned from him.  He knows a thing or two because he has seen a thing or two.  

In that class we were blessed to hear from various pastors that had over 500 years of combined experiences in life and ministry.  We must never discount or ignore the wisdom that we can gain from those who have gone before us.  Life is an ongoing opportunity to learn and grow.  God desires his people to continue to grow in their faith and knowledge of truth.  We must not go through life thinking we know it all, have heard it all, or learned it all.

The Literacy Project Foundation recently reported that 44% of American adults don’t read even one book in a year.  That report also said that 6 out of 10 households will not even buy a book this year.  Reading books, magazines, newspapers, and other reliable online resources are very important in gaining wisdom and fostering growth.  God’s Word should be at the top of our list but God’s people also have much to share with us as well.

Eric Metaxas shares this….. “Martin Luther once said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” I’d add that if you want to change your world, pick up a book and read…. reading is critically important, especially for Christian believers. God, after all, reveals Himself to us in the written words of Scripture. Think about it, when we read the Word, we place ourselves in the very presence of God.”

I would argue that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  The old dog just needs to have a desire to learn, grow, and mature no matter their age might be.  That is what I saw in that 91 year old pastor and that is what I hope all of us can nurture in the days that we have left on this earth.  Grow in the Lord, grow in your faith, and grow in truth!

Make it personal:  How many books have you read in the past year?  If you are not much of a reader then think of ways to learn and grow in other ways.  Listen to books, sermons, and scripture on your phone.  We have so many more opportunities these days but we must take advantage of those opportunities and not get caught up in the frivolous things of life.  Proverbs 8:35 says, “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.”

Have a wonderful week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church