Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.Proverbs 9:9 (NLT)
Growing up, I had mixed feelings about school. In grade school, I loved it! I loved the classes. I loved the learning. I loved my classmates. I really enjoyed it. Junior high is where things began to change. I still loved the classes, but my social game started to grow stale. My friend group suddenly shrunk. My classmates started being nasty to one another, putting others down. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was manageable. High school for me was a different story. I only liked a couple of classes, and my social game pretty much revolved around me and my girlfriend. I gave up on having real friends in my class. I just kept waiting for graduation so I could be done.
Needless-to-say, my GPA in high school suffered as a result of my attitude. Yes, it was my attitude that caused it all. Why? I couldn’t change the behavior of those around me. I couldn’t change the way my teachers instructed in class. I couldn’t change how much my girlfriend loved me. All I could do was change my reaction to all of it– my attitude.
I’m a bit older now, and a fair amount wiser. I realize now that I missed out on some great opportunities because of the way I approached things.
As today’s verse tells us, the wise become wiser. This is simply because they are mature enough to know that they need to learn more. They need to grow more as a person. They understand they need Jesus more. They need to rely on God more. They need to develop relationships more. And on and on and on. In short, wise people realize their need of others.
Additionally, our verse gives us a second principle, which is that righteous people learn even more. So, what, or who, is righteous? In the biblical sense, it means we have right standing with God. In a practical sense, it means we have a real, authentic relationship with Him. This relationship changes the way we approach life. The two commandments Jesus gives His followers are: Love God, love others. If we’re doing this, then we are right with God.
As a result of this right standing, we must love the wisdom that God imparts. We must love the teaching of the teachers He has placed in our lives. We must love to learn.