Summary: If we want to live wisely then we must walk with God.
“Walk In Wisdom? Walk With God”
Last week we began our new study of Solomon’s book of Proverbs. I hope that you walked away from our study thinking to yourself, “Those ancient wisdom sayings of Proverbs are more relevant to my life today than anything being offered by the authorities and experts of our own society.” I say, “I hope you walked away with that insight…” because it is absolutely true. The reason it is true is because the book of Proverbs is God’s wisdom for living life, not the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of God is like God’s character and nature—it is unchanging. Scripture says, 29 “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind." (1 Samuel 15:29 NIV)
How unlike the wisdom of the world is the wisdom of our God! Have you noticed how the wisdom of people vacillates and varies with each new generation or even from year to year? Let me give you an example.
During the first half of the 1900’s there was a book written by Dr. John B. Watson that gave parents everything they needed to learn about raising kids. Dr. Watson’s book was called, Psychological Care of Infant and Child. Dr. Watson suggested that parents never hug or kiss their children and never allow them to sit on their lap. Watson’s thinking was that children would drown in what he called, "Mother Love" if parents showed them too much affection. Let me read you a quote from Dr. Watson. He writes, "If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning." Dr. Watson felt that children need to be taught that it is a cruel and harsh world. I praise God that this cold, business-like approach to raising our kids is not the normative teaching today.
In 1946, a young doctor who had graduated from Yale, won a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics, and was practicing pediatrics at the time that he released a new book called, Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. The book was revolutionary. It was a total 1800 different approach from Dr. Watson’s book. Many of you who are seated in this sanctuary were raised by parents who read, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. The book has been translated into more than 39 languages. Needless to say, the book swept the country and eventually the world. It has sold over 50 million copies, second only to the Bible in sales. Dr. Spock urged parents: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you know.” Critics of Dr. Spock say that he was encouraging parents to raise permissive kids, but one thing cannot be debated—Dr. Spock changed the minds of millions of parents concerning how to raise their kids.
What’s interesting is that Dr. Spock, though recognized as the authority on parenting and with all the fame that he achieved, changed his own mind about much that he had taught when he was younger. He had been steeped in the teachings of Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin while at Yale and Columbia, but as he grew older he saw their teachings, teachings which shaped his own beliefs, as contributors to the problem and not part of the solution.
Dr. Spock, who wasn’t a member of any church and who tried to escape his strict upbringing, said later in life that America was suffering from “moral blindness.” In an article called, “The Baby Doctor: Benjamin Spock on Darwin and Morality,” Dr. Jerry Bergman writes,
Dr. Spock concluded that the moral blindness that produced many of our modern social problems was the direct result of modern secular teachings resulting from Darwinism, Freudianism, and other humanistic philosophies. In Spock’s own words, the major reason for our most serious social problems was the weakening of the influence of religion that resulted especially from the influence of Darwinism and our increasingly secular society… Dr. Spock realized that many of the movements with which he had once agreed had caused an enormous amount of harm in our society. As a result of his insight, he admitted that he had ‘come full circle, in the end, to a feeling that it is crucial, in all issues, to consider the moral dimension’ when trying to solve social and societal problems. The major source of morality in the West, he realized, was the Judeo-Christian heritage, which has been seriously undermined by Darwinism, Freudianism, and the secular humanistic philosophies taught in our schools and by society as a whole. (Spock and Morgan, 1989) (Dr. Jerry Bergman, The Baby Doctor, Benjamin Spock, On Darwin and Morality. IMPACT No. 356 February 2003)
Human wisdom changes. Opinions change, scientific discoveries are replaced by new discoveries, and worldly wisdom shifts like the rising and setting of the sun. True wisdom transcends the ages and spans the various cultures of the world, but where can we go to find such wisdom? That is a great question.