Proverbs 1:2 gives us the big view of this book: “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight.”
There are a couple things to take away from this.
Before we find out what they are, let’s look at what happens to a lot of us as we age.
When we are young, we spend at least twelve years in school. That’s good, because we need to know some things to get by in this world. The problem is as we get older, we begin to master a degree of knowledge. For example, when we hit the teen years, we believe we know more than our parents because we deal with the big realities of life every day. Since Mom and Dad are “old,” they just don’t get what it’s like to be young anymore. And when our heads swell with a sense of our own importance, we rebel at those antiquated notions of yesteryear.
Later, when we get done with school, many of us shift into work, start coasting, and think we’ve learned everything there is to know about everything. And if we don’t know, it doesn’t matter.
Then we have kids.
If you want your life to matter, one of the greatest thirsts you can quench is a continual thirst for knowledge. Once you realize that school is only the beginning of your education, you can begin to live a life that matters.
So how do you learn well?
First, find good information.
Good information has three qualities. First, it is true. Second, it is right. Third, you can take action on it.
You’ve got to have all three to have good information.
If a statement is true, it may not be right. For example, it’s true that sex feels good. But if you experience it with a lot of people it can wreck your life. Just today I heard about Evander Holyfield settling a costly child custody case. The news reported that he has twelve children by six women. Chances are good that not all of his kids are living with him or even see him every day. It’s not likely that he has close relationships with all of them either. Is momentary pleasure worth that price?
Once you’ve found good information that is true, right, and actionable, you will gain understanding that will help you gather more insights.
Proverbs is a great place to start.