November 11, 2017
READ: Proverbs 4:1-23
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! (v.7).
My twenty-something friends and I sometimes joke about the struggles of ‘adulting’—slang for doing adult responsibilities like maintaining a vehicle and home, cooking, paying bills and planning. We grew up assuming these skills would come naturally with age, but they haven’t come naturally; it’s been a lot of work!
The teacher in the book of Proverbs was acutely aware of something similar: that a life of wisdom isn’t natural. With a tone of urgency, the teacher repeatedly reminded his students not to forget the beauty of wisdom (4:1-2,21). In the ‘real world’, every day would bring a decision—whether to go deeper into the path of wisdom, or to choose the path of the majority—which would lead to harming others and themselves (vv.14-19).
A quirky sentiment attributed to Mark Twain argues, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” Similarly, the book of Proverbs can invite us to “pause and reflect” on how we live our lives. Most people rely on their own assumptions and mistake it for wisdom, but if wisdom was natural we wouldn’t need to be reminded over and over again in Scripture not to reject it! (vv.5,13,23). True wisdom isn’t something we can ever achieve and put on a shelf—we experience it only as we daily rely on God (3:7; James 1:5).
But seeking His wisdom isn’t burdensome. Instead, it’s a journey of learning to know the wisdom that founded creation (Proverbs 3:19), a treasure so joyful and life-giving we’ll learn to treasure it above all else (4:6
Read Eph. 1:16-23 to see how the New Testament connects growing in wisdom and knowing Christ.
Instead of immediately reacting to something you agree or disagree with today, try to pause and prayerfully rely on God’s leading. How might this approach affect both you and your response?