Bonnie Wheat is a pastor's wife, author, and Christian counselor. A former teacher, Bonnie has a Ph.D. in psychology and Christian counseling. She is the author of "God Gives a Song: Walking with God through a Crisis." She has also written for several publications including "Mature Living," "Texas Baptist," "The Upper Room," and a Guidepost devotional series. Bonnie writes a weekly article for the church page of her local newspaper, "The Big Spring Herald." She and her husband, Dwayne, live in Big Spring, Texas where they minister at Berea Baptist Church.
You may contact her at:
101 Washington Blvd., Big Spring, TX 79720
Tel. 915-714-4306 • E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Word to the Wise May Not Be Necessary
By Bonnie Wheat
One of America’s funniest educators and observers of life noted that “a word to the wise ain’t necessary—it’s the stupid who need advice.”
While I agree with the premise of this witty quote, I have a hard time distinguishing between the wise and the stupid. The wise sometimes have no sense, and the stupid seem to get along fine without wisdom. The truth is that all of us are totally ignorant in some areas of life and quite knowledgeable in others.
As a teacher, I had some degree of success teaching students to read and write, but when I was dragged into a welding class to substitute early in my career, I prayed the entire time that the bell would ring before the building blew up. Likewise, my husband, who passed both Greek and Hebrew in seminary, would have a hard time earning a paycheck as a mechanic or nailing a job as a carpenter. After taking an aptitude test in high school, our daughter, who is now a college professor, was advised not to pursue a career in plumbing.
On the other hand, some of the wisest people I have ever known were poorly educated. What they lacked in book knowledge was compensated for with heart knowledge and experience. While it may take a physician to diagnose an illness, one doesn’t have to be a meteorologist to tell when it is raining outside.
Although I have trouble separating the wise from the stupid, Bill Cosby, the author of the quote probably would agree with one of the wisest men recorded in history. King Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NASB).
Perhaps the distinction between the wise and the stupid has nothing to do with interest, aptitude, or training. The real differences in the wise person and the foolish person are respect for God and the humble willingness to receive instruction. A word to the wise may not be necessary, but only the wise will listen.
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