WISE TALK


INTRODUCTION

Sammy kept his eyes on the road, but his mind was wandering. He had looked forward to this day for many years and now that it was here, he was much more nervous than he had anticipated. He glanced over at Tim, his fifteen year old son, and thought back to the day his own father had taken him down this same road. “We’re almost there, son.” Sammy said. “Great.” replied Tim very unenthusiastically. Although Sammy and Tim were close, things had been more tense between them over the last six months or so. Sammy turned into the entrance to the state park and worked his way back to the most remote parking area. “Come on son, let’s get out and walk for a while.” Reluctantly Tim got out of the truck and followed his father to the trailhead. They walked for quite some time without talking. Then, just as Sammy was getting ready to begin his well rehearsed ‘speech’, Tim asked, “Dad, what are we doing out here?” Sammy cleared his throat and said, “Well son, my dad brought me out here when I was your age to talk to me about something he felt was very important. At the time, I didn’t really appreciate what he told me. But over the years, it has made more and more sense to me. Actually, when I was fifteen, I thought my mom and dad were two of the dumbest people on the planet.” Sammy heard Tim laugh under his breath and realized that he had probably just summed up Tim’s feelings about him. Sammy went on, “But as the years passed, I realized just how wise they really were.” “Is this going to take long?” Tim asked. Sammy fought back the urge to get impatient and just honestly answered his son’s questions, “The talk itself will not take long at all. But hopefully, you will spend the rest of your life applying what I hope you learn here today.” Tim actually seemed a little interested now. “Tim, I want to talk with you about wisdom. My dad told me there were three kinds of people in the world. Foolish people, who don’t learn from their mistakes and experiences. Smart people, who do learn from their mistakes and experiences. And wise people, who learned from the mistakes and experiences of others.” Sammy paused to let his son take that in. Then he walked over to a bench alongside the trail and sat down. Tim made his way over and sat down next to his father. “That actually makes a lot of sense.” Tim said. Sammy couldn’t hide the smile that appeared on his face. “I am glad to hear you say that son. Understanding it is one thing. Applying it to your life is another. Wisdom is quite different from knowledge. Knowledge is just an accumulation of facts. Wisdom is when you apply what you know in a meaningful way. You know your grandfather wasn’t a Christian until much later in his life. So back when he told me about wisdom, it was strictly from a worldly viewpoint. So I want to expand that thought a little further and put it in the context of being a Christian. I believe a spiritually wise person learns from the lessons God teaches. And I further believe that God uses four distinct ways to teach us. He teaches us from His word, the Bible. He teaches us as we pray. He teaches us through our experiences with other Christians. And He teaches us through the circumstances of our life. That’s it. That is what I wanted to tell you.” Sammy stood up and started walking further down the trail. It seemed like he had walked forever when he heard Tim running up from behind him. “Dad! Dad! Wait up!” Tim was somewhat out of breath. He had sat on the bench thinking for some time before he realized his dad had walked on ahead. They walked side-by-side for some time without talking. And then Tim asked, “So dad, what have you learned that you think might help me?” Taken aback, Sammy reached out and hugged his son. Sammy was overwhelmed with the maturity his son demonstrated by that question. He realized that moment marked a new beginning in their relationship. They walked for two hours that day. Sharing and learning from each other.



SCRIPTURE

Focus Verse: Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels;

Additional Verses: Proverbs 9:10, James 1:5


DISCUSSION

In 1 Kings Chapter 3, when God said to Solomon, “Ask what I shall give thee.” (v. 5), Solomon asked for wisdom (v. 9: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: …”). And in James 1:5, James tells us if we lack wisdom to ask God and he will give it to us liberally, without blame or criticism. So my question to you is, why live without it? Learn from your mistakes and experiences and those of others. But most importantly, learn from the lessons God teaches (in the Bible (Psalm 119:97-104), in prayer, in church and your relationships with other Christians, and in the circumstances of life). Seek after God. Show Him reverence and respect. Ask Him for wisdom. Try to see things from God’s perspective.


PRAYER

My Lord and Savior, I humbly and respectively ask that You teach me wisdom. Not worldly wisdom, but wisdom that will help me to more completely understand You and Your ways. Wisdom that will help me to seek after You and live in such a way that reflects my desire to serve You and fulfill Your purposes for my life. Not for my benefit, but that Your will be done. Thank You Father for the many blessings in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.