Okay, we want to teach wisdom to our children. Good goal to have, but where do we start? First, we must be truly converted. It’s not enough to attend church and say the right words. Conversion is new life, new direction, new thoughts, new desires. Christ touches our soul and changes it from the inside out. He makes us new and real.
Clive Staples Lewis, known by most people as C.S. Lewis, was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1898. He died almost 65 years later in Oxford, England on November 22, 1963 (50 years ago this week). Millions of people know him because of what he said and wrote. This photo is of the statute of C.S. Lewis in front of the wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s located in East Belfast where Lewis was born. The book is part of the famous Narnia series Lewis wrote between 1949 and 1954. More than 100 million copies have been sold in more than 45 languages.
I wanted to take a few minutes and thank Mr. Lewis for planting something in my mind and heart that finally bloomed when I was a young man. I, like Lewis, became an atheist as a teenager. Also like Lewis, I became a Christian after investigating the claims of Christianity as an adult. I was introduced to Lewis’ Narnia series as a child. I loved the stories of the adventures of Peter, Edmund, Susan, Lucy, and Aslan. I remembered those adventures many years later after becoming a theist and Christian. I finally understood what Lewis had told me many years before.
Mere Christianity, Surprised by Joy, The Screwtape Letters, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are among my favorite C.S. Lewis books. May the following quotes from the books be a blessing to you as we remember his life and his words.
“If God exists, I dare him to sit down in front of me right now and be interviewed!” (Pause)
“Well, apparently God doesn’t exist or maybe he’s under the weather today (chuckle).”
The year was 1970. I was at my peak as the most hated radio talk show host in our area and I loved it! People called me blasphemous, filthy, disgusting. Things couldn’t have been better. I was young, hot and on my way to the top. But it didn’t start out that way.
We move now to the next step in becoming wise and teaching wisdom to our children – learn wisdom and be an example of a wise person.
We need to be students before we become teachers. We need to be wise and act wisely before teaching others about wisdom. Every Christian should be a student of wisdom, but those who teach others about living wisely should be well-versed in wisdom and continue to study wisdom throughout their lives. Good martial arts instructors have the respect of their students. Martial arts teachers have traveled the martial road ahead of their students and bring knowledge, experience and wisdom to their classes.
What I’m going to share may spoil it for you … but then, it may not. It could be just the thing you or someone you love needs to read.
“At 372 miles above Earth, the view is breathtaking, but life is impossible. Whatever you do: don’t let go.”
Last week we began a special series about teaching wisdom to our children. Given the fact that knowledge currently ”doubles” about every 12 months, our children will know more than any previous generation. However, another fact is that wisdom to use the growing volume of knowledge is diminishing rapidly.
King Solomon of Israel was the world’s wisest man. When he spoke, people listened. They were amazed at his combination of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” 1 Kings 4:29-34 (NKJV)
A good place to begin teaching wisdom to our children is through the words of Solomon and his father, King David.
Do you remember the name Buckminster Fuller? He was an inventor, mathematician and futurist who wrote a book shortly before his death 30 years ago titled Critical Path (St. Martin’s Press, 1981). In the book, Fuller introduced the idea of a “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” Using all of the knowledge that the human race had accumulated and transmitted by 1 AD as a starting point, Fuller believed knowledge would have doubled by about 1500 AD. The next doubling of knowledge would have been about 1750 AD. Doubling increased exponentially during the next two centuries and had grown to about every 25 years by the end of World War 2. Today, because of the computer and other information systems, the doubling time of knowledge is close to every 12 months and experts say it may one day double every 12 hours!
I touched on some of these futurist views in the section about “The Science of Immortality” in my book A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality (Fifth Estate, 2007, pp. 391-470). Though “knowledge doubling” is certainly a big challenge to our society, there is a bigger problem. Knowledge is increasing, but wisdom is decreasing. Our children will “know” more in their lifetime than we will ever know in ours, but they will have little ”wisdom” to use that knowledge.
We must teach wisdom to our children now!