No. 266


We have a fine, good natured gentleman in our Lions Club by the name of Ronnie Jones. He is in the insurance business now, but for many years he was a teacher in the public schools. Sometime back when our club honored the “Outstanding Teachers” in our district and the superintendent was making a few remarks, he had this to say about Ronnie Jones, his friend and former co-worker. He said, “Most people drink from the fountain of knowledge but Ronnie only gargles.” It was a light hearted moment, but all of us are serious when it comes to the value of educating our children.
It is with this last thought in mind that I would like to share something that could be of great value to you. It’s common knowledge that education is very important if we are going to be successful in today’s technological society. People who cannot read, for example, are always going to be found at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid. However, there is another ingredient that is vital when it comes to achieving true and lasting success. This ingredient is something we call “Wisdom” and the dictionary defines wisdom as “The power of true and right discernment; also conformity to the course of action dictated by such discernment.” In other words, knowledge is what we know, but wisdom is knowing how to apply it in the right way.
Now I don’t want to be judgmental, but anyone with common sense would agree that the vast majority of Americans have knowledge but the number shrinks dramatically when it comes to those who have wisdom. People who are head over heels in debt and those in jail or prison are good examples of what I’m saying. You can probably think of countless other people who lack wisdom when it comes to making wise decisions for their life.
If you feel you have been short changed in the area of wisdom, I have a suggestion that could be worth its weight in gold. As you may know, King Solomon of Israel, son of King David and Bathsheba, is reported to be the wisest man that ever lived. He built the temple in Jerusalem and had 700 wives and 300 concubines, which was really a measure of his great wealth. During his lifetime he wrote 3000 proverbs. A proverb being “a pithy saying, especially one condensing the wisdom of experience.”
A good example of King Solomon’s wisdom is the story about two harlots who lived together and they each had a son about the same time. Soon after they were born, one of the mothers lay on her son in bed and smothered him to death. She then got up and switched her dead son for the one who was alive. You can just imagine the argument that followed over which child belonged to which mother. To settle the matter, they were brought before King Solomon. After a bit he said, “Take a sword and divide the living son in half and give half to each mother. At this point the living child’s mother said, “No, give him to the other mother.” Solomon then said, “This is the child’s real mother, give the son to her.”
One of the books of the Bible is called the book of “Proverbs.” There are 31 chapters in this book. Over the years I have had many people tell me they had formed the habit of reading one chapter of Proverbs each day for the entire month. Since repetition is the key to learning I believe you can visualize what would happen if you made a commitment to take the wisdom of this great King into your mind on a regular basis. Do it for a full year and you will see the rewards. I can promise you this, if you want to learn or review the principles and rules for right living, which is the real measure of wisdom, just form the habit of reading the book of Proverbs on a regular basis. Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72032.)