Monday, March 26, 2007

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. Proverbs 9:9...

Sometimes, the circumstances of life will bring to light an area in which I need to grow. Or, someone may come to me with a new and great idea that involves uncomfortable change on my part. Or, perhaps, someone might offer a suggestion about how I can do a particular thing in a better way.

In such cases, I can see this in a negative light. I can focus on where I have failed, rather than on what I can learn. Or, I will berate myself for not already knowing the lesson at hand.

One of the characteristics of the wise, however, is that they view learning in a positive light. They welcome instruction and teaching. They do not rest on the wisdom they've already acquired. Nor, do they feel that they have to prove their wisdom by putting up a front that says, "I know it all." The wise are humble. They do not feel threatened when confronted with someone who is more capable in a given area than they are.

Some of us have been wives and mothers for many years now. Perhaps, our children have even grown up and left home. We can feel that our years for learning are behind us. On the contrary, however, the empty nest years can be prime years for learning and practicing new things. We have more time to devote to activities that may have gotten lost in the busyness of our child-rearing years. We can keep growing as managers of our homes. Or, we can take up an art. Or, we can learn more about how to use a computer. Or, more importantly, we can train our characters to be more like Christ.

I love this quote: "As long as we are alive, we can keep growing in our character to be more like Jesus, not because we are so "bad", but because there is so much more we can become!".

Even when we are young, we can lose our enthusiasm for growing. We find ourselves going through a stale period. We lose just a bit of our zeal for God. We become a tad disillusionsed with the church. We have less desire to share our faith, and we even get tired of keeping our homes. Oh, we're not ready to throw in the towel. But, we know that our motivation is flagging.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, we have been hurt in some way. Or, maybe we've taken on more than we can handle. Or, we've quit depending on God and we're depending on our own strength. Or, we face a physical ailment of some kind that drains our mental energy. Whatever the case, Jesus calls us in Revelation to return to the height of our first love.

Drawing close to God will help us renew both our energy and our first love. (See Isaiah Chapter 40). We will also have to fight to keep a godly attitude. And, we will need to keep life and its trials in proper perspective.

Learning something new can help us get over one of life's slumps. This is especially true if we learn new things from God's word. We can never outgrow Christ or the Bible. With God, we are always standing on the threshold of renewal.

And, that's exciting.


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