It is really rather important to know our right from our left, especially when it comes to receiving driving instructions but equally when it comes to putting on our shoes, discussing politics or playing sport! The same is true with regard to knowing right from wrong, though for the most part that comes from a simple combination of common sense and conscience. If we put our left shoe on our right foot, we will experience discomfort, inconvenience and ineffectiveness, (among other things); the same truth applies when we try to replace right with wrong. It is important that we know the difference between right and left, as well as between right and wrong – you do not need wisdom to know that!

However, it is even more important that we know right from right, especially as parents. That requires wisdom and contrary to popular myth, wisdom does not come with age, either necessarily or automatically, however much we might spin it – there are plenty of wise young people and there are equally plenty of old people who are not wise. A referee needs wisdom, not just to know the rules, not just how to apply or interpret them but equally when to play advantage in the execution of them. Parents need wisdom not just to know how to discipline but how to apply it to each of their children, in each specific situation. We need to be able to know right from right. Welcome wisdom!

Wisdom requires knowing what is right for this moment. There was a lovely advertisement for running shoes which showed two people walking barefoot through the bush and being faced with a lion in front of them. They stood stock still, considering their best move. Very slowly, one man bent down and quietly put on his running shoes, at which his friend whispered that they would not help him run faster than the lion. “No,” replied the first, “But they will make me run faster than you!” Wisdom saved his life!

Wisdom requires knowing what is right for each person. Everyone is motivated in different ways, some by the stick, others by the carrot; some by words, others by looks, others still by actions. A coach’s success is not dependent on his knowledge of skills or tactics but on his ability to get the best out of all his players and out of the team as a whole. As a team is made up of players with different personalities and characters, so too are our families and we need wisdom to know how to get the best out of each of our children. Wisdom will bring the greatest rewards. Similarly, wisdom requires knowing what is right for each situation. What works in one family will not necessarily work for another; what works in one school will not necessarily work in another; what works in one country will not necessarily work in another. What works on one occasion will not necessarily work on the next. Wisdom is knowing that there is a time or season for everything, and which season this one is. One day we may need to speak but another day we may need to be silent; wisdom can help us know what day it is!

Wisdom requires knowing what is right for the big picture, not just for the small one. Wisdom knows which battle we should fight today, which is worth leaving alone. Wisdom requires knowing that some things may be lawful but may not be beneficial. Wisdom requires knowing that what is right for me may not be right for my child. Wisdom is seeing the big picture. The old story of the shoe company from Europe sending representatives to Africa to see if there was a market for shoes in that continent underlines such wisdom. One representative reported back that no-one wore shoes so there was no market; the other reported the same fact that no-one wore shoes but recognised the situation was ripe for expansion. Wisdom will see great opportunities and will pay dividends. It is wisdom that we desperately need as parents in order to raise our children in the right way. Equally it is wisdom more than academic qualifications or intellectual ability that we should want for our children. Being clever does not mean being wise. The bottom line is, though, that we need wisdom to realise that it is wisdom that we need!

[To discover how to get wisdom, you may like to go to: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2017/05/07/humilitycomes-wisdom/]