Knowledge needs wisdom to succeed

By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:9-10.

Area children are once again in school or have resumed home schooling. In the last couple of weeks, I spoke to several kids about the upcoming school year. I asked if they were excited to go back to school, if they knew whom their teachers were, and what they expected from the coming year. Their responses amused and amazed me.

As might be expected, there were children who were anxious to return as well as those who were dreading it. Younger children who were attending school for the first time seemed excited at the prospect of a new experience.

I remember my own school days as I arrived that first day and was introduced to my teachers. It was fairly easy to size up my teacher when I only had one in the elementary grades, but was much harder when I had several teachers.

Some were laid back and I breezed through their classes with ease. Others were stern taskmasters who pushed me to my limit to emerge with a passing grade in their class.
Of this type of teachers, I placed them into two categories.

There were those who spent extra time working with you if you had trouble with the material presented in class and those who told you to find the answers for yourself in the text or anyplace else.

All throughout school I had my favorite subjects, especially history. The material was so easy for me to grasp. On the other hand, I really struggled with all of my math classes and to this day, I still can’t understand the concepts of Algebra.

Each grade in school, each teacher, and each subject were building blocks that helped to prepare me for the rest of my life. As I now go through my daily life, I am confronted with some tasks that are easy and others that try my patience. I was wrong when I thought I was through with school, because the school of life continues until the day I die.

I learned how to search for things I needed to know about when the answer wasn’t readily available. Through these searches I learn not only what I was looking for, but many other interesting facts as well. I learned how important it is to continue to learn something new each day. I also realized that I have so much more to learn.

One of the things I strive to learn more about each day is the Bible that is a valuable textbook for the believer as stated in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

While I spend time reading it every day, I find there are other means of studying God’s word. I do this through hearing the word preached and participating in Bible study in Sunday school and Bible study on Wednesday nights. In Deuteronomy 31:11-13, the children of Israel were told to go to an appointed place to hear the law read so that they might learn the laws of the Lord and thus be able to observe them.

Early day Christians spent a great deal of time listening to the word of God. In Acts 5:42 we learn that they heard about Jesus on a daily basis: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

While it is important to learn, it is crucial that we apply what we learn to our lives. The Psalmist said in Psalm 25:4-5, “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” I want to follow the path the Lord has planned for me.

Knowledge is wonderful and useful for Christians, but without wisdom to accompany it, we are spinning our wheels. With the knowledge we receive, we need to ask for wisdom to put it to use. In James 1:5 we read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I am thankful for the foundation of learning skills that were forged throughout my school years. Now, I am determined to take accumulated knowledge and seek wisdom as I continue on through the classroom of life.