Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. (Proverbs 1:5-6)
After years at school, and lessons upon lessons, it can be a relief when your formal education ends and you walk out of that door for the final time. All is done and the whole wide world lies open before you. The brain is full up, and ready to go. Off you toddle.
Only, of course, things aren’t that simple. As Proverbs opens, the call is going out to the wise. In fact you might say that the truly wise person is the one who knows the need to keep learning. You might not be as wise as you think you are! After all, even the Apostle Paul could write: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own” (Philippians 3:12).
The seventeenth-century Bishop of Norwich, Joseph Hall, once wrote: “He gathers that hears; he spends that teacheth. If we spend before we gather we shall soon be proved bankrupts”. There is a great importance in storing up wisdom, of being keen hearers of the Word of God. This is what Paul calls the “renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). It is the building up capital that you can spend as you go on through life.
To be truly wise is to keep on learning. When you threw your satchel into the corner, and took off your school uniform that was not the end. The knowledge of God is joyous, and without end. Be wise, and be hearers of the Word of God!