Sometimes Just One New Idea Can Change Your Life
Wisdom brings peace, joy, satisfaction, and great blessing. Wisdom can be codified, that is, how to live wisely can be stated in short memorable sayings.
Proverbs Chapter 10
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This was there first major assignment. Their father had been tested by his father, their Grandfather, for his resilience and ability to problem-solve. Throughout their lives so far, they had been shown the principles then tested with how they could apply those principles to small challenges. Whenever they wanted something and approached their Dad for it he would always say “Yes”. But then nothing was forthcoming. They came realise that what he was really saying was, “Yes you can have it if you can figure out how to get it.” They had to learn to become resourceful and think outside of the box. Often they were unaware that their father was testing them. These, at times, frustrating tests had stretched their attitudes, their physical endurance, their mental capacities and their spiritual depth. This would be the last test, or as his father presented to them- “their first assignment.” As they checked into their room, they used what little they knew of the local language to thank the porter before they saw an envelope on each of their beds. They read the note their father had arranged to be left on their beds and almost instinctively one after the other closed their eyes and seemed to pray.
“A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.”
The people they had come to do business with were ruthless negotiators who used every trick in the book to win over those they were doing a deal with. Their father knew that they would be under pressure to cut corners, avoid following correct and legal procedures and accept bribes. But this is why he wanted this to be their first assignment. He wanted them to experience the very temptations he had long warned them about. On the other side of the note they had just read was written in blue ink-
“Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
The family business was now into its most dangerous phase: The Third Generation. It was well established that what the first generation founded, the second expanded and the third generation squandered. But with wisdom this could be avoided. But it would require two things that their father had emphasised- (i) keeping God and your devotion to Him as your Number 1 priority, and (ii) hard work.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
The constant reminder by their father that they were not just a family, they were also partners in a family business, helped them to regard their enormous privilege as also a tremendous responsibility.
“He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
Live wisely, do business fairly, and people will think highly of you. Long after you have gone they will still remember you fondly.
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.”
These young had grown up with a Dad who regularly told them that he had a lot to learn from them. Being open to learn, having an enquiring mind, and listening before speaking had become a part of their family’s culture.
“The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin…Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin…The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near…When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
The next day they prepare for their meeting. Little did they anticipate what awaited them.
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There comes a time for every parent (and for every child) when they let go of each other. It is at this time that loving parent rests in the knowledge that they have done all they could do. Parenting takes on a different role at this stage. “Children” who know are no longer children now learn far more by discover than mere discourse. In a similar way our Heavenly Father has provided us with notes for the journey now that we are for a short time separated from him. The Bible is the collection of His stories, His sayings, His instructions, His record of redemption, that is meant to make us wiser.
“and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Wise for salvation. That’s real wisdom.