Proverbs 4:1-9

            “My advice is useful, so don’t turn away… Be wise and learn common sense.”  Wisdom is personified in proverbs as a sage counselor for whom we must pay careful attention to listen and heed.  Wisdom in the Old Testament is the practical application of knowledge and understanding.  It is the ability to take the knowledge of God and use it in everyday life in a way that leads to human flourishing.
 
            Thus, there are really two important aspects to wisdom.  First, the individual must possess some body of knowledge.  We cannot employ knowledge that we do not even possess.  So, it is absolutely imperative for us to seek understanding, to strive to see life from God’s perspective, and to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.  We must become readers, listeners, and devoted learners because without books, the ability to hear well, and the humble posture of discovery, we will never realize wisdom.
 
            Second, the individual must use knowledge in order to act, to live well.  Knowledge by itself, apart from relevant use, only produces puffed-up pride.  The reason for accumulating understanding is to use it for the benefit of others in love.  We have quite enough preening peacocks in this world with snappy opinions and answers for every earthly problem.  This world needs much less of them, and more of those who seek the humility that comes from biblical wisdom.  As the Apostle James once put it, we must be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
 
            When wisdom is realized, there is learning through both head and hands.  The book of Proverbs is perhaps the best place to begin constructing a life of wisdom.  Reading a chapter a day for one month will get you through the entire book.  Make a wise plan to carefully go through Proverbs sometime this spring or summer.  You will be very glad you did.
 

 

            Wise God, I love wisdom.  I desire it more than money, fame, or power.  Help me to use biblical common sense and learn the ways of Jesus through the enablement of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Proverbs 9:1-12

            Wisdom personified is portrayed in this chapter of Proverbs as calling out to us as people.  Wisdom’s message is a passionate appeal to take the path of insight through God’s revealed will.  “Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”  Wisdom in Scripture is the ability to apply God’s Word to concrete situations in our lives.  In our day to day lives, choosing to listen to wisdom and follow her instructions is vital to experiencing success in the Christian walk.
 
            The fact of the matter for too many people is this:  we are too impatient to let wisdom teach us her ways.  Idolatry and running after other gods often results from the inability to wait on the lessons that wisdom wants to impart.  Wisdom is not something that is gained quickly; her teachings must be learned slowly with careful application over time.  We are much too prone to finding simple solutions to complex problems.  But wisdom calls us to leave such simplistic thinking and take the high road.
 
            Rather than rush to Google for answers to our questions; instead of allowing another person to make decisions for us; in place of implementing sheer pragmatic plans, allow wisdom to penetrate the mind and heart so that what comes out is thoroughly godly and biblical.  Where is the place to start?  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  There is no substitute to committing oneself to the regular and daily regimen of reading God’s Holy Word, and seeking to put it into practice.
            All-Wise God, the One who is never in a hurry, create in me a wise mind and heart.  Help me to sit still long enough for wisdom to bring biblical and spiritual maturity to my life, through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.