I was mulling over some verses in Proverbs 4 this morning, and while I’m not sure I have anything profound to say, I just thought I would share.

Wisdom is the principle thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you. She will bring you honor when you embrace her. (Proverbs 4: 7 & 8 )

Getting SmartI like to think about what it means to look for wisdom. When I think I’ve come across something wise, like, when someone says “I think I should probably do this, or not do that” I often find myself saying “Hmm, that’s good… that sounds wise.” And afterwards wondering… did that sound like a weird thing to say? I like wisdom! I like hearing it! But seriously, there is such a huge emphasis in Scripture on the significance of seeking and desiring wisdom. And it’s interesting to me because we have more information at our fingertips than any previous generation in history…but are we any wiser for it? If I listen to the news or watch TV, I’m pretty convinced that while we’re oozing with information, I’m not sure our wisdom bucket overfloweth as a result.

As I asked the Lord about getting wisdom this morning, I was reminded of two things:

  1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This reminds me a lot of yesterday’s post…deciding to depart from evil because we fear the Lord, and we don’t think more highly of our own wisdom than we ought to. (If the Lord blesses me with more understanding of the fear of the Lord, which I intend to study up on, hopefully I can come back to you with a series of posts about it, because I don’t think one or two is going to cover it!) And,
  2. I was reminded of this interesting section of Psalm 119 that used to get me really excited when I was studying at university:

Oh, how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
You, through You commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For your testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep your precepts. (Psalm 119: 97 – 100)

(Me: Wiser than my teachers? Sign me up!) It seems like the way we are instructed to get wisdom is simple: meditate on God’s Word, His Law, the testimonies of His goodness recorded in Scripture, and then do what His word says. Put into practice the things that you are learning. If you’re learning to ride a bike, someone might take the time to sit down with you and explain the reason the bicycle works…how the pedals push the gears and the gears move the wheels and the steering wheel directs and the brakes slow you down… but eventually, you’re gonna have to put that knowledge into practice to fully understand riding a bike.

In the same way, the wisdom that comes from God is best understood when we study it, think about it, and then live it out. I think that’s why just a bit later in Proverbs 4 it says, “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.” (v. 26) If we move forward thoughtfully and purposefully, considering the teaching of the Lord and His wisdom, He promises to make our paths straight. I suppose there are some questions Google is never going to answer for us. The wisdom, and knowledge and understanding that will set us on the right path come from the Lord. If wisdom’s what you’re chasing after, what you’re pondering, and what you’re doing, expect the goodness of God to meet you.

I saw a great quote on this great blog yesterday that I think might be an encouraging closing:

You learn to speak by speaking,
to study by studying,
to run by running,
to work by working;
and just so, you learn to love by loving.

All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.

– Saint Francis de Sales

If you are looking for wisdom today, I hope it finds you.