That was one of the many little sayings I would hear my Dad say as I grew up. Another one was this, “there aren’t very many truly wise men in the world, if you find one, if you can, spend time with him.” Reminds me of Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Another one of his gems was his definition of wisdom, “Wise men can see beneath the surface to see the way things really are.” His definition reminded me of fishing with him.
When I was a kid learning how to fish with my Dad, he would say as we were fishing up a small creek, if you can see the fish in the water you will have a big advantage in trying to catch them. He would say, don’t look at the water, look at the bottom of the stream bed, if you focus there you will see through the water and see the fish. It took awhile with his coaching but I finally got the hang of seeing beneath the surface to where the fish were.
In life most people project images, as opposed to what is really true. We all learn to do it when we are really young. It really isn’t lying, it is covering up the truth, or portions of it, it is over emphasizing some facts and ignoring others. One author that I like calls it, “blowing smoke”, creating a haze that is hard to see through.
Truly wise people can see through the haze, and see the truth. Proverbs says that if we seek wisdom like gold, silver, or precious treasure we will find it. Most people don’t seek wisdom diligently, they just assume that wisdom comes from living life, but as my Dad would say, “there are a lot of old fools running around,” they didn’t learn it from just living life.
There are three keys to growing in wisdom; (1) look for truly wise people and be humble enough to learn from them, (2) read the Bible every day. Psalms 119:98
says, “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine,” and (3) pray and ask God for wisdom everyday. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” The words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16, are so appropriate for our day,
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”