The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. -Proverbs 1:7
Back to school is upon us. School uniforms have been bought, supplies are all in tow and knowledge of all sorts is being dispensed day in and day out in various classrooms across our country. As our proteges are getting back in the rhythm of school, depending on how old your protege is, there are all sorts of conversations happening now. You may talk through graduation and life after high school, adjusting to middle or high school, or even respecting teachers or fighting. And while these are all appropriate, one thing I’d encourage us as mentors to consider is leading our proteges in seeking wisdom.
Wisdom is defined as skillful living. Another way to put it is that wisdom is how to navigate the world and make decisions in the best way. Who better to know this than the Creator of the world? Wisdom is not fully dependent on how much information you know but what you do with that information. That’s why someone can be really smart or knowledgeable but be a fool. A fool is not someone who is dumb or dimwitted but a person who despises wisdom. A person who sees this skillful way to live but stiff arms it and chooses destruction for themselves.
Now if you are honest with yourself, you have made some foolish decisions in your life and you’ve seen your protege make some as well. While there may be many voices in your protege’s life telling them to do well in school, there may not be many pushing them towards living wisely. Below are a few suggestions on how to promote wisdom in your mentoring relationship.:
-Model Wisdom- Consistently seek to grow in your knowledge of Jesus and seek living wisely. Your protege is watching. They may not always ask you the deep questions but your life is speaking volumes to them.
–Share the Why- Bring your protege into the “why” behind the decisions you make in life. Why did you go to college? Why did you wait to get married to have children? Why do you save money? Wrapped up into the why for you is a mixture of wise and foolish behaviors from which your protege can learn. Be honest and assure your protege that you will walk with them through both the triumphs and hardships in their lives.
-Read Proverbs- The Lord has given us a whole book of the Bible full of wisdom. If your protege is older or mature and a reader, you could both commit to reading a chapter a day for a whole month and talk through what you are learning along the way. If your protege is younger or not a reader, consider reading a few proverbs during your hangouts and talking through the implications of them.
In seeking wisdom and leading others to do the same, there is much patience and prayer needed as well, so like it says in Proverbs 3:5-8:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
-Billy Rose, Director of Mentoring and Discipleship