HUMILITY IS THE PRE-REQUISITE OF WISDOM!
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight! Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her!” Proverbs 4 v7-8 (RSV)
To know that you don’t know and to be willing to do something about it, is far better than thinking you know, when you don’t know at all. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Humility is required if wisdom or knowledge is to be gained. There are both the innocence of youth and also the foolhardiness of the opinionated to be observed in the speech and actions of young people; but the open heart and mind is both the possession of the gullible and the would be wise.
So how do we find wisdom? It makes sense first to listen to those who love us and want the best for us, but to observe how the wisdom those we love has affected their lives. If the wisdom being shared has given the person speaking it the kind of results you would like to have in your life, then listen carefully to what you are being told. If however this isn’t the case, you need to find another mentor, whose life’s path has taken them in the direction you want to go.
The Command to Obtain Wisdom.
Chapter four begins, with King Solomon (oh did I say before: “the wisest man who ever lived”) telling his sons to listen to him, he assures them and us that he is giving us good instructions, and I for one think Solomon is the go to guy, when it comes to getting wisdom. Solomon tells us he was someone who listened to his father’s teachings; I see this as a recommendation to listen to him, because he is asking us to do what he did not just what he says.
King David commanded Solomon to get wisdom and insight and that when he had it, not to forsake it. Wisdom is spoken of in the feminine, the way I see it is King David wanted Solomon to love wisdom, as a man loves a woman. He says “if you don’t forsake her, she will keep you and guard you and by prizing her highly, she will exalt and honor you as you embrace her. David wants Solomon to have a love affair with Wisdom; if you do he says, she will crown you as her king!
Contrast of the Wise and the Wicked
It seems strange to me reading this now, but in the eyes of King Solomon if you are not wise you are wicked, not stupid. Solomon makes it a simple choice for us between good and evil, if we want to be good then we need to get wise and possess wisdom, if we can’t be bothered to learn then we aren’t just stupid, we are evil! Seems a little harsh on the puddled amongst us, but surely part of being alive each day is that through trial and error at the very least, we become wiser?
There’s a promise of long life to the wise, and a path that won’t trip you up whether you are walking or running. Wisdom based instruction is something to never let go of and to guard against doing so. Avoid the path that leads to evil, go the way of the wise every time you are faced with a choice; don’t cause others to stumble and fall either. Walking in the light of the knowledge of wisdom, is to be prefered than walking in the darkness of evil ways.
Positive Instructions to a Son
Not only should we listen out for wisdom, but we should keep it somewhere special where it won’t be forgotten or not acted upon. Life and health have their source in wisdom, so guard yourself from saying things which aren’t based in wisdom. Jesus himself said “Out of the heart the mouth speaks”; so store wisdom in your heart, at the deepest level of your being, so that health and life will be yours. Is the message of the wisdom of the wise making itself clearer to you?
In the closing verses of chapter four we are told to “look directly forward” to keep your eyes on the road ahead. It’s clear that if you do, then the wisdom you have will enable you to anticipate what actions are the best ones to take next, especially if you realise you need to seek out more wisdom than you already possess. Not swerving to the right or the left or going off at a tangent on some wild goose chase, will keep us away from the evil pathways that might entice us.
I will be back next week with more WISDOM 101 from Chapter 5 of the book of Proverbs. Instead of my usual Friday poem tomorrow, being the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at the beginning of the end of the Second World War, I am going to share with you the memories of a young man aged 22, who arrived in France on D-Day+2, because the ship he was being carried from Portsmouth being attacked by shells and bad weather. That young man was my Father!
Love and light to you from Andrew 🙂 ♥