Help, Lord! I need wisdom.
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.” - Proverbs 3:13
Have you ever felt the need for wisdom? In dealing with your work? Spouse? Children? Finances? Decision making? In the next few devotionals, we will look together at what the Bible says about wisdom, particularly in the book of Proverbs, a book that describes some of the benefits of wisdom like these:
Respect from others
It’s usually easy for us to recognize those who are wise. We look up to them, want to hear what they have to say, and choose to follow their examples. There is something in all of us that resonates with wisdom and desires for others to see it in us. The writers of Proverbs agree: “A man will be commended according to his wisdom . . . ” (Proverbs 12:8, Amplified Bible).
Wouldn’t it be great to have insight into what really drives us, what causes us to react the way we do when certain people provoke us, what causes anxieties within us, and what hurts are buried in our hearts waiting to be uncovered and healed? Solomon tells us that “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way but the folly of fools is to deceive.” (Proverbs 14:8, Amplified Bible). Wouldn’t we prefer to exercise wisdom in understanding our own hearts and motivations than to be a fool living a life of pretense and deception? Wisdom helps us live with honesty, confidence, and transparency with people and circumstances around us.
Another promise to the wise is financial stability. In fact, it seems that some of the proverbs actually promise that wealth will follow wisdom. Here’s an example, “With me (wisdom) are riches and honor; enduring wealth and prospeAnrity” (Proverbs 8:18). Much of the advice in the book of Proverbs is very practical. The writers counsel us to avoid debt, make payments on time, work hard, and plan for the future. If we follow the way of wisdom as outlined by these wise men, we are likely to experience a certain amount of financial security.
Safety and security
Another result of living wisely is that we are more likely to find ourselves in situations that are safe, both physically and emotionally. The wise man says, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse” (Proverbs 2:11-12). The writer is telling us that wisdom gives protection, in part, by keeping us out of harm’s way from those who are wicked. Wisdom, he says, will protect us from the contentious words and lies of those who might want to hurt us or lead us away from God. It is often our own foolish decisions that bring us into paths that are dangerous whether that danger is emotional, physical, legal, financial, or relational. If we stay on God’s path, we will find safety and security. The wise man reiterates this thought by saying, “Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you” (Proverbs 4:6).
Knowing what to say
Another promise is that if we are wise, we will be able to respond appropriately in every situation. One of the wisdom writers has said, “Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you true and reliable words so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you?” (Proverbs 22:20-21). And others will recognize that what we have said is right and true and wise. We sense it in others, don’t we? Wise words and counsel bring direction to situations and instill confidence and peace in those who hear them. “My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right” (Proverbs 23:15-16).
Here’s another benefit. Most of us want to live full and meaningful lives. We know we are mortal, but we are not in a hurry to leave this earth. The writers of the proverbs tell us that if we follow in the way of wisdom, we will be making decisions that will help prolong our lives. We read, “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many” (Proverbs 4:10) and “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord but whoever fails to find me harms himself all who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:35-36; wisdom is speaking in this verse). Of course, this is an observation, not a guarantee. Even Jesus died young, so we know there are exceptions. But, in general, the way of wisdom is healthier, safer, less stressful, and more enduring that the way of foolishness.
Want to know more? Follow us over the net few weeks for more wisdom teaching from the book of Proverbs.
"Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it."
- J.I. Packer