Blog Post

18th June 2023 – Minister’s Letter – Wisdom is for children

Minister’s Letter – Wisdom is for children

When you think of a wise person, what pictures come to mind? An older sage-like character with flowing beard? Dumbledore? Gandalf? Perhaps a teacher you admired at school? Such images are appropriate, as the Book of Proverbs instructs us that older generations have much to impart: “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (23:22). Elsewhere the Bible’s wisdom literature asks “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long-life bring understanding?” (Job 12:12). 

However, it is not necessarily the case that age alone equals wisdom. Note that Proverbs is written for a younger audience: its very existence reflects the promise inherit within young people to become wise. And the pre-teen Jesus was himself noted for his wisdom; “he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40).  It’s appropriate, then, that we desire, pray and plan that younger generations fulfil their potential to be people of wisdom. Of course, at a young age it is merely potential—let’s not make the mistake of assuming wisdom before it’s had the chance to develop. But to help it develop, we can (1) ensure they are learning of the God who created and redeemed them, (2) share some of our own lives and decision making, and (3) offer gentle correction when we see things going astray. Remember, a wise child brings joy to their parents (Prov 10:10), so training them up in this way is a favour unto ourselves! 

Martin Kemp