The back-to-school sales are all but over, the kiddos are — thankfully — back at their desks, and lessons are beginning to be taught. And as students learn to read, write, and compute, there is another important “textbook” that should never be far from a student’s reach because it has all the answers they’ll ever need.
Available now in more than 700 languages to over 5.9 billion people in their native tongues, the Bible, according to the Christian Post, is not only the most printed work in history, but also available to more people than any work in history. It is THE best seller – for a reason.
The inspired and infallible word of God, the Bible is really the most important “textbook” any of us needs. And as young people continue to fall away from the church in large numbers, making sure this precious piece is not only on the desks, tablets, and phones, is crucial.
We live in a postmodern world where more relativism reigns. No standards. No absolutes. Anything goes. Think about that for our young people.
With a simple click, they can be bombarded with every kind of thought, image, or philosophy known to man in seconds. Lost in all this is truth. What is right? What is true?
In the Book of Proverbs, which is also referred to as the Book of Wisdom, in Chapter 2, verses 1-6, it reads, “... if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom.”
This passage is rich with insight to understanding the steps to wisdom. If we, first, seek the Lord and trust in his word and wisdom, and value it as if it were an earthly treasure, we understand the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is to respect and revere him, and if we do this first, then the passage goes on to say seekers will find the knowledge of God, which is wisdom in and through his word. Then we will learn of righteousness, and of truth.
Notice the ordering, though. It’s not, “give me wisdom, then I’ll think about trusting you.” It begins with first seeking the Lord, just as Jesus beautifully states in the Sermon on the Mount. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
The confusion our young people have in not knowing the path to wisdom, or, more importantly, the sweet message of salvation in the Gospel through Jesus’ death and resurrection, is the waning investment society has in helping our future know who they are, and whose they are in Christ.
I’m talking here to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, close family friends, and others who have influence to ensure children and young adults know Christ and the life-changing relationship He wants with them. This means taking the time to bring them to church, get them involved in church activities, and, yes, inspire them to know God’s word. If you own one of these important titles, you’re needed.
So where to start, you ask? Begin with a conversation. Ask the young ones in your life if they know what’s right and what’s true. The answers may be interesting, and they may also be a little wishy washy, once you get them. The key is opening this dialogue and getting questions out on the table. The answers can be found in a click or simple turning of the Scriptures.
Ultimately, the Christian faith comes down to trust and releasing our humanistic behavior and our sinful nature to the Lord to be renewed in him. This is the beginning of wisdom.
And while I suppose we all have trust issues from time to time, even when it comes to trusting the Lord, I know this. I need him, and I know our young people do, too.
So meet them where they are, engage them honestly, ask them questions, and turn to God’s word for the answers. And while they might not all come jumping off the page, rest in this, one of my favorite verses:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Brian Underwood is executive director of Sierra Lutheran High School.