“Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.” It was Elihu who observed, “Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judg­ment”. There are some who have had twenty years’ experience, and there are others who have had one year’s experience twenty times.

We would hope that we become wiser as we grow older but, unfortunately, as the saying goes, “Sometimes age just shows up all by itself”. It is amazing how some can accumulate so much knowledge on a given subject and yet lack what we call common sense in applying it. Unfortunately common sense is not as common as we would like.

When we are young, we are constantly learning new things. As we grow in wisdom, we hope that we learn how to use what we know. The saying “knowledge is power” is only half true. It is power only when it is properly applied. The problem is, how do we properly apply what we know?

The Psalmist gives young people good advice as to how to grow old successfully. He says, “Come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD”. He then proceeds to give advice that everyone of every age can take to heart as to how to achieve old age successfully. He asks a rhetorical question and then gives the answer: “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?”

No doubt all of us would like to live many days, enjoying life and seeing good. Here then is the se­cret: “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile”. Watch what you say! Some people seem to only open their mouths to change feet. It was the wise man Solomon who told us, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding”.

It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Those with that uncommon “common sense” frequently listen while the less experienced talk on and on. No one ever learns anything while they are talking.

Abraham Lincoln took his cue from Solomon when he said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.

We can get ourselves into so much trouble with that little member of our body, the tongue. James says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity”.

Let us continue to listen to the Psalmist, for after he tells his children to watch what they say, he next advises them what not to do and what to do: “Depart from evil.” Staying away from bad things and bad influences is wise: “Fools walk in where angels fear to tread”.

Now the positive advice: “Do good”; be a doer, and, “Seek peace and pursue it”; don’t be a trouble maker. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” said Jesus, “for they shall be called the children of God”.

This thought from our Lord comes right out of the Psalm, for David and the Lord Jesus Christ both teach us to seek peace, to be a peacemaker. The Apostle Paul confirms the wisdom of this by saying, “live in peace; and the God of love and peace be with you”.

David, who tells us how to show wisdom by growing old gracefully, also reminds us: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry”. So God is watching us all the time. If we want to be His children, if we want to live a long and happy life, if we want to grow in wisdom as we grow older, then we need to vigilantly watch what we say, to keep our tongue from evil, knowing the Lord hears every idle word. We need to stay away from evil places and evil men. We need to do good, to be a peacemaker, and then the angel of the LORD will encamp around about us and deliver us: “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him”.