We have all seen it, little babies, wide-eyed, soaking in the world around them like cute little sponges. From the moment our eyes can focus we are looking at our surroundings, taking them all in and trying to figure them all out. One of my favorite things to do with my babies once they got to this stage was to walk around holding them, just showing them stuff. The more they were interested in something, the bigger their eyes would get!
It is wonderful for children to learn. Unfortunately, around first or second grade children are no longer as enthusiastic about their education and it takes a lot more effort to get them to learn, at least in school. It is so important though, that as we grow we fill our minds with knowledge which hopefully turns into wisdom.
At a certain point in our lives, most of us have acquired a fair amount of knowledge, life experience and wisdom, this is when we need to start “wringing out the sponge.” We need to begin sharing with people who are not as far along in their journey as we are. This doesn’t mean that we all need to become actual teachers, but I believe teaching opportunities are everywhere, beginning in our own families. The obvious teaching in a family is from parent to child, but grandparents are invaluable as teachers as well. Children love to hear stories from their grandparents’ younger days and also stories from when their own parents were young. Uncles and aunts, older cousins, even older siblings can all have a part in sharing wisdom with younger relatives.
As we do begin to share with others, there are a couple things we need to be cautious of. One is whether the person actually wants to learn the information we are trying to teach. I heard a quote recently that says unasked for advice is just criticism! The other is that we do not want to be abrasive sponges. There is a huge difference in gently shepherding someone and harshly instructing.
Obviously, just because we are to a stage where we can start teaching, it doesn’t mean we stop learning. One of my goals personally, is to stay receptive to what God wants to show me, to stay nice and fluffy like a natural sponge and soak in His truth. I don’t want my mind to stay small like one of those little artificial sponges! So how about you? Are you ready to do a little “soaking” and “wringing?”
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16