Proverbs (wise sayings) from around the world
“It is better to be blind than to see things from only one point of view” Indian proverb
“The fool speaks, the wise man listens” Ethiopian proverb
“Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others” Hema (DRC) proverb
“A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood” Chinese proverb
Life is full of problems. Every day, we have to decide many things – what to do next, where to go, how to give help to someone, when to say “yes” or “no”. Some things we choose will only change one day for us. But other things may change our lives (or other people’s lives) in bad or good ways, for ever.
Decisions are important. We need wisdom to choose well. How can we learn to be wiser – choosing the right things to say or do? Many old proverbs and stories in our country, told over hundreds of years, can teach us wisdom. Old religious stories also help us. For example, in the Bible story of Joseph and his brothers*, the wife of Joseph’s boss wanted sex with him. But he said “no”. This helps us to see that if Joseph had the strength to make that wise choice, we can do the same thing.
In modern books and films too, we can learn from the choices people make in the stories. We may even want to shout at someone in a story, “No, don’t marry him!” or, “If you do that, your life will be messed up!”
It is easy to see the mistakes that others make in their lives. But harder to know when we are making a wrong choice! That is why it is so important to talk to other people about our choices. We should ask friends that we can trust, those we know are good at making their own choices.
For the best help, should we also go to the wisest person there is – God? He can be our wise friend, who wants to give us wisdom for big and small decisions. In many parts of the Bible, we are told to ask for help and wisdom in making large and small decisions: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you.”
Frank Lukyamuzi from Uganda, a SOON reader, says, “I have asked Jesus to give me knowledge, wisdom and strength to bring change into the lives of many people.”**
* You can read this story in the Old Testament part of the Bible, in the book called Genesis, chapter 39, verses 11 to 12: Joseph says no
** You can read these words in the New Testament (the Injil), in the book of James, chapter 1, verse 5: Wisdom in James's letter
■ Ask God for wisdom: Find Wisdom
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