“Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear or harm.” (Proverbs 1:33, ESV)
In times like ours, it’s easy to get carried away by our passions and offer emotional responses to everything. But 0ur times call not for emotional (and often irrational) lashings. Rather, our times call for wisdom. That’s why I’m refreshing myself on the the words of The Teacher from the Book of Proverbs.
I used to think wisdom was life’s secret sauce, and that only the really smart people were wise. I also used to buy into the false notion that wisdom is attained only through experience; we try, we fail, we wise-up.
I still think wisdom is life’s secret sauce, but that other stuff? Rubbish. Wisdom is available to all who pursue and ask for it. In fact, Proverbs were often taught early in life, in schools, and in the home. The tangy-ness of wisdom is there for us all, so let’s go after it.
Today I’m reading through through Proverbs 1 and offer these reflections.
Wisdom here means practical and clever–like good ole fashioned “know how.” Why are we reading Proverbs? To gain know-how, practical knowledge of life so we can navigate it better. The word “discipline” reminds us that getting wisdom requires surrender, rigor, and persistence.
The wise live life like Michael Jordan practiced basketball: with daily tenacity. They’re given to the task of “getting wisdom.”
In our instant world of blogs, news feeds, and tweets, we perhaps read more, but comprehend less. Proverbs help us gain “understanding,” which requires a certain level of depth. We must analyze, dig deep, read between the lines, spend time reflecting on the Proverbs in order to “get wisdom.”
Prudence marks the wise. The shrewd and practical person must also be a moral person. In the Proverbs the word “fool” can carry a moral element. A fool is morally deficient; someone who doesn’t have a moral compass–they’re prone to evil. The wise, on the other hand, are morally submitted to The Way.
When we give knowledge and discretion to the young, we impart our own knowledge of God to them. Knowledge here refers less to our “personal experience” with God and more to our obedience to God. We can’t teach virtuous know-how to the young unless we ourselves live in obedience to God, to his ways, his ethics, his desires.
Let’s model wisdom rather than foolishness to our kids. Put another way, let’s model a fair and practical way of life, one that chases after God, submits to God’s desires, one that never stops growing, one that sees room for growth, rather than a life marked by the morally questionable, the morally lost; the person who cares more about self than about God.
Today’s Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to get wisdom. So, I’m asking for your help. Open my eyes that I may understand. Keep my ways virtuous and fair. I want to live surrendered to you today because I know life’s secret sauce lies in the gold of heavenly obedience.