How Wise People Get Increasing Wisdom
One of my favorite Proverbs is the one found in Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” Of course, a wise man also evaluates and examines the source and truthfulness of the instruction and realizes that others might put the same instruction to evil purposes. I remember something my statistics teacher said tens of times during my college class on that discipline. He was teaching us to use statistics (he said “ta-tastics”) but don’t necessarily believe every number you are given.
Statistics Can Be Your Friend or Your Enemy
“Figures never lie, but liars always figure.” I haven’t forgotten this wise teaching. This is especially true when reading what others say about the Bible, or how they go about interpreting the Bible. It is also applicable for investors. If the numbers seem too good to be true, it is almost certainly not true.
Carroll D. Wright was a wise man.
In 1889 statistician Carroll D. Wright used the expression in 1889 while addressing the Convention of Commissioners of Bureaus of Statistics of Labor. He did not claim to have been the originator of the phrase, but he did say, “The old saying is that ‘figures will not lie,’ but a new saying is ‘liars will figure.’ It is our duty, as practical statisticians, to prevent the liar from figuring; in other words, to prevent him from perverting the truth, in the interest of some theory he wishes to establish.”
The Scriptures are a Wonderful Source for Truth in Teaching
Proverbs 1:8 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,…”
3:1 “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
4:2 “…for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. ”
5:13 “I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. ”
6:20 & 23 “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,…”
7:2 “…keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;…”
9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
13:14 “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”
31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
How to Identify a Follower of Jesus
Proverbs 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” And 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Five Minute Friday
This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.
All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.