Wisdom. When does a person begin to become wise? Can a young person become wise or is wisdom reserved only for the elderly? I believe young people can get on the path to being very wise while some older folks get more and more foolish as they grow older. In other words, ” some people live and learn while others just live.” Do you want to be wise? If you do, you must discover the Source of all wisdom. So, let’s talk about where wisdom begins.
Where does wisdom begin?
If wisdom is knowing what is right to do and doing it, where does that start in us? Are we born wise? Do children come into the world knowing what is right to do? We know that is not the case. However, children are born with the image of God and have the ability to become wise. But, there are lots of factors at play in whether or not a person learns to live wisely.
What are some of the issues that determine if we become smart in the way we live? Here are some things that immediately come to mind:
- Personality. Is the child born stubborn or strong-willed? While these can be good qualities in some instances in life, they may also make it more challenging to teach the child how to live within healthy boundaries.
- Parenting Style. The way parents handle their power and authority with their child is very important in the development of the personality of their child. Effective parents take into account the needs and personalities of their children and develop a friendly and firm approach to them while teaching them how to live. Good parents do not confuse the child about who is the ultimate authority in the home. The role of the parent is to be the parent, friendship can come when the child is grown.
- Choice. Becoming a wise person is ultimately a personal choice. Parents can play a significant beneficial role by providing excellent guidance but they cannot choose for their child. Likewise, some parents are terrible examples for their children but this does not determine whether or not the child will choose to become wise. These children start with a deficit but can, by God’s grace, become wise in the way they live.
- Experience. Growing up offers lots of opportunities to become intelligent in the way we live. Disappointments, being mistreated, sickness, success, jobs, responsibilities at home, preparing for school, sports activities, church, religious organizations, and many other things help form the way we see life. A person who has a good spiritual foundation can gain insight and knowledge from difficult as well as positive experiences and will learn very helpful lessons.
What is the secret to becoming wise?
There is really no secret to becoming wise. This is not something hidden for which we have to search. The scriptures are clear about where wisdom begins and how we are to get it. Some people come to learn to live wisely because of the results of their sins and rebellion against God. This likely is true for all of us who have had a genuine conversion experience. Sin doesn’t pay the kind of long-term dividend we are looking for. Through God’s great mercy and love we discover there is a much better way, a wiser way to live.
The Bible teaches us that the beginning place for wisdom is our heart. Isn’t this what Jesus is trying to get us to understand when he says, ” Out of the heart come the issues of life?” Those things that are most important to us have a special place in our heart. Our attitude toward those people or things is one of deep respect and importance. Wisdom is a heart matter, an attitude matter toward God. Who is God and how do we respect Him? How do we treat Him? How do we obey Him? Proverbs 1:7 says this about where wisdom starts, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
I take this to mean that we begin our journey toward wisdom when we acknowledge who God is and start to live with a healthy fear or respect for Him. God is in charge, the ultimate power and authority over our lives. He has made us, sustains us, and is the Source behind every good thing we have. He has provided a way, the only way we can live in the right relationship with Him. Wisdom begins when we surrender our self to God by an act of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a loving father, He gives us rules to guide us and disciplines us when we disobey. He recognizes our frailty and imperfections but continues to love us. When we cooperate with Him by obeying his teachings we learn how to live with wisdom in our relationships and to discern how to invest our time, money, and talents in the things that matter most in life.
Where does wisdom begin? It begins in our heart when we turn toward God in humility and respect. What is the source of all wisdom? God, our creator and savior is the beginning and end of all wisdom.