Today is the first day of 2017/18 school year at Hollywood Christian School. It is always exciting to see the students return. Moms and dads are in the hallways taking their children’s pictures with teachers. The students are neatly dressed in their new school uniforms. Friends are reuniting after their summer vacations. And the school staff is urgently running from place to place making sure that everything is ready to go. What an exciting day!
The first day of school always makes me think of the book of Proverbs. It might be because the words “instruction,” “knowledge,” and “wisdom” are repeatedly found throughout the book. It could also be that the tone of the book reminds me of a teacher instructing a student. The truth of the matter is that Proverbs is filled with wise advice for everyone – the parent, the student and the teacher. Here are a few examples of Solomon’s sage advice…
- Knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord
That is the foundational premise of Proverbs. Solomon makes that assertion repeatedly throughout the first few chapters.
1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1:29 – Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.
It is entirely possible to be academically intelligent, but spiritually illiterate. It is conceivable for one to be a genius in knowledge but a fool in life. How is that possible? Academic knowledge prepares the brain, but it is godly wisdom that prepares the heart. It is the fear of the Lord that ties knowledge and wisdom together. When we recognize our need for God and give Him the place that He alone deserves, our knowledge is transformed into wisdom.
Parents, the best thing that you can do for your children this school year is to teach them to fear God. Model for them what it means to put God first in your life.
- Integrity is your most valuable possession
Although you will probably work years to pay off your house, your car or even your boat, none of those things are your most precious commodity. Your most valuable asset is your integrity. Integrity is a complex word that is defined as “to be complete; to be morally honest; or to have a sincere heart.” Quite frankly, you either have integrity or you don’t have integrity. If you have it, it is very easy to lose and if you lose it, it is very hard to get back. That is why Solomon warns you to guard it with your life.
10:9 – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely…
11:3 – The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
- God blesses generosity
11:24 – One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
19:17 – Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.
Solomon makes reference to an irrefutable spiritual law – Generosity pleases God while selfishness displeases Him. He gives to us so that we can give to others. God in His sovereignty has a way of taking what we give to others and giving it back to us.
These are just a few of the many nuggets that are found in Solomon’s book of wisdom. Let me encourage you to spend time in this profound book. Make yourself a student of God’s knowledge. I guarantee that you will reap the relational and the spiritual rewards.