Solomon, because of God, is the wisest human being to ever walk the earth. Most people try to emulate his wisdom, or aspire to it. He’s like the big brother you wanted to copy because you thought he was cool. But there’s one thing that Solomon did to make sure this wisdom didn’t end with him. He passed along his gained wisdom to others, namely his son.
Experience trumps knowledge in many areas. Take landscaping a patio. Looking at it I would think you just clear an area, smooth out the dirt and lay some bricks. Wrong. Experience teaches about having the right foundation, taking note of the ground you’re building on, what kind of bricks you need, weather, etc. We need older, wiser, more experienced people to teach us. We need you to teach us.
Who should we pass this wisdom along to then? Solomon addressed several chapters of Proverbs to his own son (Prov. 1:8). Paul instructs Titus to have the older men train the younger (Titus 2).
Basically, we need to pass our wisdom along to the next generation.
You can do this in many ways, but I’ve noticed 3 ways that have taught me the best:
1) Talking: Share your thoughts. Teach them from your past. Go for a walk, find out what’s going on in their life, and see if there’s any wisdom from your life that you can pass on.
2) On-the-job training: Working on a project together can really cement lessons into a persons heart. Before I served in Hungary for several years, I wanted to learn how to drive stick shift. A deacon from our church had a stick shift truck that was willing to teach me. He explained the concept to me first, but then he also let me drive it and feel for myself. It was great. While I never got to drive stick shift, I still remember the basic concept and will be so much better prepared when we get to Poland as full time missionaries.
3) Lead by example: Kids especially learn a lot by watching others. Teaching principles by our life is extremely powerful, both positive and negative.
Another example from my life is when my mentor took me out grocery shopping with him. He was doing the shopping for his wife as a treat, but also took his two little girls with us. At the end of the trip he pointed out to me the love, kindness, and wisdom of being a man and going the extra mile to take care of your wife, in this case by running errands for her and giving her alone time, something I appreciate even more now that I’m married.
How are you passing along wisdom? Who in your life taught you a wise lesson?