I have been rereading Proverbs day by day. Today, since it’s the 19th (only 6 days till Christmas!), I read Proverbs 19. I started to find a theme as I pondered this scripture.
I see a progression here.
Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes – Prov. 19:2
I find children often go at things this way. Ruby gets stoked about a new project and sometimes runs off, half-c0cked, sans complete understanding. I help her pick up the mess and teach her how to do things. Like cracking eggs so the shell doesn’t end up in the batter.
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord – Prov. 19:3
Still a childish mindset. Once kids are a little older, they start to make their own decisions. They might stay up later watching videos on their phone, forgetting they have morning obligations. They might be a bit grumpy the next morning. Not that Zac or I know anything about this.
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper – Prov. 19:8
If you ever wanted to know what it means to “love your neighbor as you love yourself”, this is part of it. Wisdom often comes from our mistakes. Who makes more mistakes than a teen? You’re so ungainly inside your changing body, you mess up constantly. It’s gaining insight from those missteps that matures a person. It’s an ideal time to “acquire wisdom”.
Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life – Prov. 19:20
Attending college or moving out on our own comes next. Learning, making mistakes and putting yourself out there is part of this season. You’re growing into an adult, hopefully a responsible one. Life’s lessons come cheaper when you’re younger. You might pay for college but over time it pays for itself.
If you punish a mocker, the simple-minded will learn a lesson; if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser – Prov. 19:25
This reminds me of interaction in a college classroom. For certain classes, group discussion and/or debate is a percentage of your grade. Conversation could get heated, given the topic and people involved. You can glean a lot from those around you. Of course, by opening your mouth you can look like a total ignoramus as well. Ahem.
If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge – Prov. 29:27
Our lives and the people in it provide an ongoing classroom. Once you stop learning, however, it’s a downhill slide. We stop engaging with the world and all its wonders. We can pick up new things every day, no matter our age. It seems God was the first advocate of lifelong learning.