School is just about to start up again as we get into August. Children will be heading to the elementary schools, while young people will be heading to middle and high school, as well as those who are heading off to college. Education is so readily available and so valuable in the United States. As important as education is, wisdom is equally important.
Wisdom is the ability to transfer the knowledge in your head to the world around you in a way that makes a positive difference. Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with a sound education, although it may not come at all without a decent education. Most often wisdom comes with experience, continuing education, and observing life and the culture around you. It is also assumed that wisdom is an understanding of right and wrong, and the ability to choose and do right as you mature in life.
The wisdom book in the Bible is the book of Proverbs. According to the first chapter, Proverbs was written “for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” Proverbs 1:2-3
Woven throughout the book of Proverbs are verses that draw the comparison between wise choices or behavior and foolish choices or behavior.
As we read Proverbs, we see that much of what the author writes is just plain common sense. Maybe Solomon knew that there would come a day when common sense wasn’t so common any more.
The first time I read Proverbs, I saw several places where my unwise choices had gotten me in trouble down through the years. It took me a little while to understand that these proverbs were written that I might make wiser choices in my life as I got older, which I have tried hard to do down through the years.
The book of Proverbs reminds us, as do many other books in the Bible, that there are some serious consequences for the bad choices we make as we move through life. We have reached the point in America where we want to continue to make poor choices, but without the consequences. We want to drive fast, but don’t want to get a ticket when stopped for doing so.
We want to marry too young or too foolishly, then want divorce with no consequences. We want to smoke, but don’t want lung cancer, drink without the consequences of alcoholism, or a host of other bad behavior without consequences.
Now that we have operated a private school for 21 years, I have learned the dilemma we deal with when it comes to discipline and consequences.
Some parents want the school and the teachers to teach their children everything they should know about discipline and behavior, while other parents want the school and teachers to avoid teaching about discipline and negative consequences all together. Many parents simply want the school and the teachers to work with them, reinforcing values taught at home.
This seems to be the best way to help our children become successful adults some day.
As your children and grandchildren head back to school this month, pray for them. Meet their teachers if you can and learn how to best pray for them also.
I have yet to meet a teacher who wants to fail at their job of teaching the children who have been entrusted to them. Education seems to work best when teachers, students, and parents/family work together as a team with a goal of getting a good education and finding the wisdom along the way to use that education.
May this be a great year at all of our schools and for all of our children!