If you were an only child, you missed out on a lot as a kid. My wife was and now that we have four kids she knows some of the things that she missed as a child.
First there are the problems:
- There is always someone who wants something different than you. You may or may not get what you want, it just depends what mood mom and dad are in that day.
- There is always someone that will mess up your stuff. You may like your toys in a certain way, but your sibling might not care about how you want things and think it’s more fun mess up your stuff.
- You might have to share things you don’t want to share.
- You don’t always get what the other kids get.
- Sometimes you have to go to bed before them.
- If you do something you shouldn’t, your sibling will probably tattle on you.
But there are also the good things:
- You always have someone to play with. It’s hard to play hide and seek by yourself.
- You have friends for life (most of the time).
- You learn how to share.
- You can learn from their mistakes.
- You have someone who is looking out for you.
- Sometimes, your sibling will stop you from doing something you shouldn’t do which means you don’t get into trouble for it.
There are many other pros and cons to having siblings, but I think the pros far out-weigh the cons (unless your sibling turns out to be a criminal or axe-murderer or something). Especially when it comes to helping you do the right things. There are plenty of times when one of my kids will call out the other on something they’re not supposed to do. They’ll come tell one of us when one of them is doing something really dangerous to them or our property. They can learn from their example.
If you pay attention to your siblings, you can stay out of a lot of trouble. That’s the idea of today’s proverb. We want to have wisdom by our side like a sibling. We want to have wisdom there playing with us as we play, teaching us how to share and stopping us from doing something we shouldn’t.
A sibling doesn’t care about hurting your feelings. A sibling is more concerned with what’s right and wrong.
My child, keep my words
and treasure up my commands in your own keeping.
Keep my commands so that you may live,
and obey my instruction as your most prized possession.
Bind them on your forearm;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call understanding a close relative,
so that they may keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the loose woman who flatters you with her words.
By the way, if you haven’t figured out that adultery is a big deal, you will in the rest of this chapter. Also, if you don’t think that it’s a big deal to allow yourself to be caught up with any form of seduction, I hope you’re starting to get the point. Don’t give in to drunkenness. Don’t get addicted to gambling. Don’t be lazy. Anything that takes control of your thoughts and you drive for life is a seductress. Stay away from it! Run!
Just like I said early in this series, the idea of wisdom being our sibling is about keeping wisdom close by. Earlier I said that we want to be so full of wisdom that when we are squeezed under the pressure of life it is wisdom that gets squeezed out. We want wisdom to be what guides our response in all situations and temptations. If we don’t have wisdom close by, if the only access we have to wisdom is google and the search results that may or may not help us in our time of need, we are going to find ourselves in trouble. We won’t always have time to google how to handle a situation. We might need to just respond.
So, fill up with wisdom, keep wisdom close like a sister or a close relative, so they can call you out on your lies and justifications. They know you well enough to know when you’re trying to smooth talk your way in to doing the wrong thing or out of the punishment you deserve. They know if you really know what to do or not. They know when you need help and are there to offer it. They know you and can help you respond in the right way.
But, if you never take the time to get to know them they won’t be available to you to help you when you need it the most. They won’t know you and know how to help you. You won’t know them and how to help them or if you can even trust them. Just like you have the time growing up with your sibling to get to know them, you have to take the time to grow up in the ways of wisdom. Just because you were born more than 30, 40 or 50 years ago doesn’t mean you have grown up in the way of wisdom. You might still be a child.
The good news is, this is a sibling that will wait for you until you decide to get to know them. They are sitting on the merry-go-round waiting for you to get on for the ride. Don’t leave them waiting there for too long.