What does wisdom really look like?
Wisdom is described as “The quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment.” Most people equate wisdom with age but we have all heard the saying “wise beyond their years” right? That let’s me know that wisdom IS possible at just about any age.
Guess what? I know how we can get one step closer to wisdom right now. Yup, that’s right… I am once again looking to our life’s manual- the Bible. The book of Proverbs is known to be full of wisdom. It is well worth your time to read this book often. It only has 31 short chapters but you will want to take it slow so as to not miss any of the goodies. I’m going to give you a few highlights below. There are SO many it is hard to choose but here goes...
Proverbs 4:7 - “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.”
For some reason, that just makes me giggle. But it’s so true! If you want wisdom, get in the Word and get it! Starting right here in Proverbs is the perfect way. By the time you read it, you will have a list of things to work on to get wisdom. The lesson from this scripture is this: you have to be willing to do the work to get it.
Proverbs 1:7 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
Proverbs 9:10 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Why do we need to fear the Lord? Short answer: He is our ultimate authority. Just like our earthly life, there are both good and bad consequences for our behavior. Our God holds our eternal destiny. He loves you but we are required to do our part. He is our Father. Having a healthy fear of disappointing Him will keep us on the right path.
Proverbs 4:23-27 - “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free from perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips…”
Guard your heart. It doesn’t say close your heart, just guard it. Be aware of who you keep for friends, what you watch, read and listen to, unchecked forgiveness, offendedness and more. Refer to past devotionals as I have written extensively on this subject.
Proverbs 10:10 - “A chattering fool comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 10:19 - “...but the prudent hold their tongues.”
Proverbs 13:3 - “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”
And just like that, my heart is convicted. Thank you Holy Spirit for the reminder. (John 16:8-15) I think I was born “chatting.” Some call it the “gift of gab.” Eh. I have painfully learned the truth of these scriptures over the years, although I was warned as a little girl from my father of this very thing. There is nothing wrong with talking and enjoying good conversation but I have learned over and over again the difference between good conversation and chattering foolishly. Hey, we are all a work in progress. Lol
Proverbs 12:25 - “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
The Bible warns us over and over again to not be anxious. Anxiety will “weigh down the heart” and we were just warned to “guard our heart.” But! “A kind word cheers it up!” So, there is the solution. Give yourself, or someone who is suffering from anxiety, a cheerful word of encouragement today. If you don't know what to say, open the Bible and it will be right there!
Proverbs 14: 30 - “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Envy is such a pointless waste of time and energy. Think about the severity of how this scripture worded it: “Envy rots the bones.” Yikes. That means the ugliness and death of envy burrows so deep into us that it settles in our bones. That makes me sad for God. I believe that when we envy someone else, we are basically telling God that He didn’t do good enough when He made us or with what he has given us. Can you imagine your child saying that to you? Ouch! Can we step away from looking at what others are doing long enough to see the “plans” God has for us? Jeremiah 29:11
Proverbs 18:13 - “To answer before listening - that is folly and shame.”
That couldn’t be a lot clearer. Be a better listener. I love the saying, “We have two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak.” Mic drop.
Proverbs 18:21 - “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
So in direct line with the previous scripture… after we get done listening, we should think before we speak. What we say matters! Words hurt. Words heal. I like to pray the scripture in Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” It’s my way of asking Him to help me pipe down, listen more and think before I speak.
Proverbs 19: 17 - “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
We know from the example of Jesus’ time on this Earth that the Lord has a special place in his heart for widows, orphans and the poor. This is NOT just about money. It says “Whoever is KIND to the poor…” This could be our time, assistance with a special need in someone’s life, giving a kind word, financial assistance, etc.
Proverbs 27:17 - “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures because I am blessed to be living it out and see it all the time. Instead of having friends or me being a friend who “jumps on the bandwagon” to sit in a bad situation or even make it worse by “piling on,” I have friends made of iron, who sharpen me, and I them, with positivity, honesty and the truth in God’s word, which never fails! It really is the difference maker when life is happening. Both the person leaning in or getting leaned into, both are being sharpened. It’s a lovely exchange and beautiful process.
Proverbs 30:5 - “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
Take a moment to relax into this scripture. God is all around you, shielding you when you choose to take refuge in him. His words are flawless, so seek him first when you have an issue and continue to seek him when you do not. Covid-19 had us all “sheltering in place” for quite some time. I like to think that no matter where I go physically… my heart, soul, spirit and mind are “sheltered in place” in the comforting, protective arms of my Heavenly Father. I pray the same for you.
I hope you have enjoyed a closer look at some of the wisdom of Proverbs. Again, I strongly encourage you to read this book of the Bible, as I have only scraped the surface in this devotional. When your heart reacts to a certain verse, the Holy Spirit is lovingly convicting your heart to action. Not condemnation. Action. Ask God to give you an action plan and hold your hand as you navigate it. Dare to trust him and get started today!
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