I don’t know about you, but I am tired of learning things the hard way. Experience is a brutal teacher; it is not kindly. No, the school of hard-knocks is not for me. I am weary of trying this and experimenting with that. I want more consistency in my life. Yes, for the remainder of my days, I want more purposeful direction. It is in my interest, my family’s interest, and my church’s interest that I find the path of wisdom and walk in that way.
So where is the path of wisdom?
I am sure I would be better off if I would learn more from history. The mantra is true, “Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.” If I would read and study more, if I would become better educated by those who have gone before me, I would be wiser, and my life would be improved.
I should learn more from my dearest friends and counselors. My spouse and a few others know me best. They know me inside and out and can see my foolish presuppositions and dangerous tendencies. Since they care most, I should most heavily consider their perspective and advice.
My life would be more excellent and profitable if I learned more from my elders. With white hair comes experience and wisdom. My older friends look at life through a different lens – a better lens – a transcultural lens. Yes, if I talked less and listened more to my more mature fathers and mothers, my decision making and my life would be improved.
The Holy Spirit inspired Solomon to pen, “In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.” I should learn more from a group of counselors. It is not without reason that every church is to look forward to being guided by a plurality of elders. When wise individuals are gathered together, the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Group-think is less arrogant and more intelligent. It is to be appreciated and pursued. Sure, the crowd is not always correct, but a group of my wise friends is almost always more correct than a group of me, myself, and I.
I should learn from experts. I should hope to become truly wise and accomplished in a few areas. Then, I should really be wise and note those many spheres of life where I am not the professional. Expert counsel should be sought out.
I can also be greatly benefited by learning more from modern culture and tragic trends. Statistics are helpful, for they show the expected outcomes of certain decisions. I should gather information for my life by looking about me, differentiating the laudable from the ludicrous, putting away the pathetic, and putting into practice the life-skills and disciplines of those whose trajectory I desire. You see, all about me are people making decisions and reaping horrible consequences. I am not the exception. If I live like most, I will experience the consequences of most, and for the most part, that is not to be desired.
However, I have left the best for last. What if there was a place where I could learn from:
- A Wonderful Counselor who is infinitely wise
- A Holy Spirit who knows me most and loves me most intimately
- A collection of inspired counselors
- A group of seasoned experts who built the ancient church I currently enjoy
- A counter-cultural book of inspired literature showing me the “other way”
Now, wouldn’t I be wise if I consulted this source every day … all day?
And wouldn’t I be a blooming idiot on those days, weeks, and months when I neglected this supreme source of wisdom and replaced it with the meaningless drivel of this world?
Oh friends, listen again to the invitation of the Sovereign Lord:
Psalm 1:1–6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Brothers and sisters, it is time for us to turn off the counsel of the wicked.
It is time for us to go to the house of the Lord to be encouraged and edified by the Word of God.
It is time for us to connect ourselves to a holy family where elders can guide us with wise counsel from the scriptures.
It is time to personally read the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, and memorize the Word. The Word can be found in the church, on the radio, in your apps, and on your television. It can be found in ancient and more-modern translations. It can be read on paper and in digital formats. Bible studies and helpful teachers are available at the church, at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Walmart even has some helpful guides — if you stay away from the “Prosperity Fellows.”
Oh struggling friends, why will we not pick up the book, read, and live life to the fullest? How much longer will we neglect the source of truth for the shifting propositions of our perishing neighbors. Get the book! Get in the book! Let’s be like well-planted, well-watered, fruitful trees. Let’s walk in the way of the Lord. Let’s walk in accordance with the “wonderful words of life.”