Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.—Proverbs 4:7
Even though the book of Proverbs is more or less a rapid-fire, quick-hitting list of Ancient Wisdom, there are key verses inside that sum up the whole thing. This is one of them, and it basically has one message:
Wisdom—Get it! You’ll need it!
That’s because life is made up of choices, and wisdom is essential to making sure those choices are the right ones, the best ones. Who you are today is the sum total of the choices you’ve made. We could wish this weren’t true, especially when things aren’t going well, when we want to retreat from the consequences of our own decisions, blaming it on our parents or our upbringing or our spouse or... anybody but us.
“This can’t be all my fault, can it?”
This practice of shifting blame to others is fueled by those psychologists who make their living endorsing personal memberships in the “Not My Fault Club.” They don’t seem to agree with people who study these matters carefully and biblically, who tell us that life is 10 percent what happens to us, and 90 percent how we choose to deal with it.
We all want to make good, solid choices with every opportunity we have. Therefore, we need wisdom. And we need to go get it!
Acquire wisdom—how much better it is than gold! And acquire understanding—it is preferable to silver. Proverbs 16:16
You can’t find true, lasting wisdom just anywhere, so where do you go to get it? All wisdom is God’s and comes from God. If you have a thimbleful of wisdom, it’s not because you’ve figured stuff out on your own but because God in his grace has revealed it to you. Any other knowledge we pick up along the way that is not God’s wisdom is what the Bible calls the “world’s wisdom,” which amounts to “foolishness” in God’s eyes” (1 Cor. 3:19). It is stupidity by contrast.
So let’s not get bogged down in the world’s wisdom. You’ll hear it spouted on afternoon talk shows, at the gym, at the hair place, or on prime-time. Seek after God’s wisdom alone, because it’s absolutely essential to life.
I like to define wisdom this way: Wisdom is the best choice with the best result in every situation. If we build within our heart a passion for wisdom, a hunger and thirst for godly perspective and understanding, we will become increasingly wise—not because we’re so smart, but because we’re acting as God wants us to.
Get wisdom, Solomon said. “If you find yourself close to it, reach out and grab it. Don’t let it pass you by. Stop and listen, then get it for yourself where you can take it home and let it sink into your life.”
Get wisdom. “Whatever else you get,” make sure this pursuit comes first, learning from God, learning from wise followers of Christ, learning and putting God’s wisdom into practice.
Get wisdom. Most of the true wisdom you come across is going to be found in the Bible. Yet many of us spend little time reading the Word of God. If you truly want the ability to make sound decisions and well-placed choices, then invest a lot of time studying, understanding, and listening to God’s Word.
Get wisdom, my friend. Get it because God wants to give it. Get it because it’s essential to life.
What are some life principles you’ve been learning lately from God’s Word? How are you sharing them with others, with your friends, with your children?