Do you remember when you turned 16 and your parents bought you your first new car?
Yeah, me neither.
That’s okay though, because growing up sharing the family auto(s) was actually a good thing. And anyway, just because I got my driver’s license didn’t mean I automatically deserved a car, not by a long shot. Having a license isn’t a “right”, or something I earn. Sure, I did a little study and answered a few questions, but in reality, a license is something bestowed—a trust.
I remember my dear father teaching me to drive (and brake) on ice—that’s a story which has become legend in my family. I also learned how to drive a stick shift, a most invaluable lesson as a teenager which took not a small amount of practice, including how to start from a stopped position on an incline and not roll back into the car behind me. Or how to tell by the sound of the engine that it’s time to switch gears. Or how to “slip the clutch”. Texting and driving wouldn’t have even been an option back then, not when you’re using all arms and legs just to make the car go.
License or not, I had to learn a few things if I was going to get safely around town.
That’s what comes to mind when I read this from Proverbs:
“Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
Don’t forget my words or turn away from them…
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.”
When we fast-forward to the New Testament, wisdom has a name:
“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself…”
He’s the license. When I “get” Jesus, I embrace wisdom defined. Sure, I have to answer the requisite questions (it’s still called repentance), and my name is entered on the heavenly legal roster. I get my new spiritual I.D.
But it doesn’t stop there, because the “developing good judgment” part needs to happen.
“…those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Developing good judgment, a.k.a. “renewing the mind”, is a process, and an intentional one. We are not without good teachers and strategies—the Holy Spirit, Himself, for starters. Not to mention how many English versions of the Bible there are now. (Can’t read? Okay, click the audio button.) And study guides galore! Learning to pray intimately, to listen intently, to love deeply. That’s only a short list.
And, like learning to drive a car, it’s critical that I identify and avoid distractions. Spiritual texting and driving is a no-no. (My word count doesn’t afford me even a short list of those!)
It’s pretty amazing that God even allows us behind the wheel. Just don’t forget your seatbelt.
Proverbs 4:5,7; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 5:14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.