As the new school year is about to begin, tonight we looked at the subject of lifelong learning from the book of Proverbs. Learning doesn’t just happen in school – babies and toddlers are learning so many things every day and we can all learn new things throughout life. The book of Proverbs is full of wise sayings, ‘written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; a manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair.’ (Prov 1:2-3, The Message) 

We looked at lots of ordinary proverbs (‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ and ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, for example).

We also looked at 5 proverbs in the Bible:

  1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Prov 1:7)  – teaching us that we need to put God first and learn to respect Him and honour Him if we want to be wise

  2. The fear of human opinion disables – trusting in God protects you from that. (Prov 29:25) It’s easy to let other people influence us (this is often known as ‘peer pressure’), but if we trust in God we won’t be so bothered by what other people say or think because we’ll be more concerned in doing what He wants.

  3. To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1) We all need to be willing to learn and to accept that we don’t know everything. This also means we will need to be corrected at times and we will accept this in order to learn.

  4. Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18) Pride and haughtiness relate to a high position, and we all know that if we climb too high and without precautions, we risk falling! God wants us to be humble and to accept that we don’t know everything.

  5. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6) One version of the Bible says of this verse, ‘don’t lean on your own understanding.’ When you lean on something, you hope it’s going to be strong and steady, otherwise you’ll topple over. If we are leaning on what we know and understand or on what other people know and understand, eventually we’ll topple over and fall. But if we lean on God, we won’t go wrong, because He’s strong and can’t be moved!