The School of Wisdom
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9
Perhaps one of the most dangerous things for us is that we would permanently make up our minds. Someone once said that arrogant Christians are much like concrete — all mixed up and permanently settled. More and more, I see this type of mindset trending in those of us who love and believe our Lord and our Bibles. We are given wisdom and insight, instruction, and guidance, promises and prophecies…all of which shape our worldview and determine our pathway in life. The practical among us find something that works and we walk in that way for years, maybe even decades as it has proven worthy of our confidence. We believe because this manner of life has been consistently proven that it will be permanently sufficient.
And then God begins to diligently work to give us further wisdom and insight. He sovereignly chooses to improve upon what we have known and found to be true. He doesn’t remove proven wisdom; He simply enlarges and enhances it. He dares to employ Himself in changing us. Truth be known, we don’t always find ourselves eager to cooperate.
Solomon mentions a wise person in the scripture above. The wise individual has discovered truth from God. He or she has learned to trust God and found that He is altogether reliable and true. The wise person has learned the spiritual principles of cause and effect, the blessings of righteous living and the perils of sinful paths. God’s wisdom is assuring and, as we live by it, we find a depth of being and peace of soul that we would never wish to lose. This wisdom is not subjective but, rather, practical and holding to God’s eternal Word as its source. The older we get in life and in the faith, the more we find ourselves convinced that God knows perfectly what He’s doing as He leads us forth.
Notice with me, however, that Solomon also mentions that it is the person of wisdom who recognizes that he or she is still being instructed. God intends to make the wise even wiser. What an intrusive thought! The spiritual Ph.D.’s among us are still being required to show up daily for class. You have passed many tests, traveled through trials as if you were the master of the raging sea, weathered hurts, and disappointments with extraordinary grace and faith…but you have not yet received your cap and gown from Heaven’s eternal Dean of Students. You are still learning. We tend to forget that don’t we?
Today we woke up and thought that we were in charge but we’re not. That’s not to say that we have no wisdom, no ability, and no permission from God to live proactively. I submit to you that, though you are not who you once were, you are nowhere near being who you ultimately must be. God intends to school you further and is doing so even today. What a humbling thing to move from the front of the classroom in a position of authority to instead take your seat among the other students for another round of divine investment.
Solomon tells us above that those who are righteous before God are the same ones who are destined to increase in their learning. God has made you a fit vessel of His further instruction, and He has declared from His Word that you will be growing as you remember your calling to studenthood. Let us renounce the pride that tells us that we don’t want any more of His difficult training. Let us recognize the presumption that might lie to us by telling us we don’t need His determined instruction. May we eagerly take on the school uniform of humility and teachability and position ourselves on the front row for the glorious lesson that the Master has prepared.
For some of you, He has scheduled you for another go around in the class of Personal Pain (we find ourselves signed up for this each year). Others are being registered for an elective in Victory & Ease (it’s a short course and one meant to refresh you in preparation for more demanding classes to come). God is allowing some of you to attend the invitation-only course on Deeper Grace & Calm Trust. Finally, some of you are in the most challenging class of all: you are in the classroom by yourself and the Lord Jesus stands before you silent. His face is calm, assured and patient. He has welcomed you for another day to sit before Him and learn the lesson of Stillness & Waiting. You pass the course daily as He says nothing to reassure you, yet you find yourself becoming wiser in the silence. Then — in a moment of clarity — you get it: this vital class is allowing you the opportunity to grow in the wisdom that He gave you in all your previous classes. He’s not teaching you anything new. He’s allowing you to rest in stillness, allowing you to see how much closer you might be to graduating.
Fellow students, stay put in the school of wisdom until the dismissal bell rings — you’ll be so glad that you did!