Proverbs: Wisdom

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What do you think of when you hear the word Wisdom? Do you think of a synonym to knowledge?  Some kind of elusive spiritual knowledge, perhaps? That’s what I often associate with wisdom, but there’s more to the definition of this word.

My small group is reading through the book of Proverbs this month.  Each week we are are looking at a different topic.  This week as we read through the first several chapters, we paid attention to see if we noticed anything new.

The importance of wisdom stuck out to me as I read, so I looked up what the word means in the original language. I learned that wisdom is more than just knowledge, but it’s also skill.  Essentially, it’s living well (with skill and knowledge) in God’s world. That’s a new understanding of the word for me.  Since one of the main themes of Proverbs is wisdom, this gives me a clearer understanding of what the book is about.

Regarding wisdom, I noticed in the first nine chapters of Proverbs that gaining this attribute is not passive.  It takes focused effort and attention.  Look at some of the verbs Solomon uses to urge his son (and us as his readers) in his pursuit of wisdom.

  • Accept (2:1)
  • Store up (2:1)
  • Turn (2:2)
  • Apply (2:2)
  • Call out (2:3)
  • Cry aloud (2:3)
  • Search (2:4)
  • Pay attention (4:20)
  • Listen closely (4:21)
  • Guard (4:23)

I want to be a wise woman, but I don’t usually want to put in the effort that is required to achieve that goal. I suspect at least a few of you can relate!  These verbs make me realize that I do need to put in effort and achieve the goal.

This pursuit of wisdom is not to be relegated merely to a morning quiet time or a bedtime devotion.  It is to be constant and consistent throughout our days.  We need to search for it, apply it, and accept it throughout the day.  How does wisdom apply to your friendships, or your work, or your family on a daily basis?

Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” As wise women, we must protect what goes into our hearts and minds because what we allow into our hearts is what will come out (see Luke 6:45).  If we want to live well in God’s kingdom, we need to make sure we are heeding the call and instruction of wisdom.  What are you paying attention to?  What are you applying to your life?  In order to live wisely, we must actively pursue what is honoring to God.  We must welcome truth into our lives and then act on that truth. 

So, how can we apply this to our lives?  Maybe it is writing out a verse to memorize and taping it to the bathroom mirror.  Maybe it’s taking a modern approach to that by setting a verse as your phone’s lock screen. Maybe it is listening to Christian podcasts when washing the dishes. Maybe it’s putting down our phones and picking up wholesome books.

What are your thoughts?  How are you seeking wisdom and applying it to your life? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.