AN OPEN LETTER TO GRADUATES

A Plea to Set Your Sights on the Most Valuable Pursuit Imaginable

Dear Graduate:

Congratulations on your accomplishment! It is no small achievement to earn a diploma or degree at any level. I commend you for making the finish line. Well done!

Of course, graduation is also a starting line—we call the ceremony “commencement”—the beginning of the next season of your journey.

Scholarship money concept. Coins in jar with money stack step growing growth saving money investment

Whether you are headed for college or going directly into a career, I want to challenge you to consider the single most important pursuit imaginable for the rest of your life.

WISDOM 

God’s word calls wisdom “far better than jewels—all you may desire cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11).

When I graduated high school, the principal challenged me to get straight A’s in college. Please don’t misunderstand. I’ve got nothing against academic excellence. But rarely in my life have I prayed, “Lord, make me smarter.”

But I have begged time and again, “Lord, make me wiser.” I want to challenge you to aim higher than knowledge. Determine to learn how to apply what you know to life’s often staggering choices in the best possible way. That’s wisdom!

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” (Proverbs 4:7).

Here is my gift to you: six truths for getting wisdom from Proverbs—Scripture’s bank vault of wisdom. Each starts with the letters of the word itself.

Worship God Reverently
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (9:10). Nothing matters more than this. Put God first in your life by making your aim always to please Him.
Invite Input Enthusiastically

“Listen to advice and accept counsel, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (19:20). Don’t go it alone. Get yourself a mentor you respect to help guide you through life’s most significant decisions.

Shape Words Carefully

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (21:23). Trust me on this: people will judge how wise or foolish you seem by what comes out of your mouth. “Out of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Control your tongue.

Distrust Self Vigilantly

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (4:23). A person’s worst enemy is their own heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Guard it from every threat—especially pride (11:2).

Overlook Sin Graciously

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (19:11). Don’t be easily offended by others. Choose love that covers a multitude of sins (10:12).

Make Disciples Intentionally

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (27:17). A disciple is a learner. Don’t just get a mentor; be a mentor. Help others grow. Give yourself away to others and I guarantee you’ll increase in wisdom.

Friend, this might seem overwhelming. It is. You and I need the help of the One who became wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1:30) through His perfect life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead.

If you’d like to know more about him and the wisdom life he offers, watch this seven minute presentation called Two Ways to Live.

If you ever need help or counsel in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It would be my great joy to offer whatever wisdom I can.

In His grip,

Curt Heffelfinger

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