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How Do We Get Wisdom?

Wisdom seems to be in short supply these days. There is a lot of knowledge – almost too much information. We are overloaded. But not so with wisdom. It is a rarity.

Do you know a wise person? What are their attributes?

Wisdom has to do with discernment and insight. The book of Proverbs links it with understanding. In the first chapter it states the book’s purpose: “To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the naive…” If that is its purpose and I want to gain wisdom, maybe that’s a good place to start looking for wisdom – read the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters…one for each day of the month.

How do we get wisdom? Does it come with age? Not necessarily – I see some very foolish older people and some wise young ones. Does it come with knowledge? No. I have seen some foolish knowledgable people and wise ignorant people. Does it come with power? Just look at Washington and you know the answer! Does it come with education? Some of the wisest people I know never got through high school and you have only to look at our university campuses today to observe foolish thinking! Sometimes I think education erodes wisdom. I read somewhere that “wisdom is knowledge applied”.

How do we acquire wisdom? Proverbs chapter 8 gives us a clue.

First wisdom is available to all. It calls out to us. Even to the naive and foolish. Wisdom is available to all – except to the lazy. One has to want it, be diligent to search it out. Don’t get discouraged and give up. One has to pay attention. Take heed. In Matthew 13, Jesus told the parable of the “pearl of great price” – the man sold all he had in order to gain it.

Along with that, one has to make right choices: to hate evil, pride, arrogance, perverted speech. Life is made up of choices. We choose to not just be uncomfortable with evil but, hate it. We choose to battle our prideful thoughts. We choose humble, not self-serving attitudes. We choose life-giving speech over negative, demeaning language. We cannot hold wisdom while hanging onto foolishness. Wisdom is a powerful, valuable treasure. It isn’t given to the superficial inquirer or merely curious.

We choose to love wisdom – seek it out. And when you find a nugget of wisdom, pay attention. Listen to it. Our mind is to dwell on the true things, honorable things, right things, pure things, lovely things, things of good reputation, excellent things, and things worthy of praise. That does not describe much of our culture.

I was traveling yesterday and picked up a People magazine to while away some time. What garbage! Why would I use my good, God-given brain cells to read that junk? (Not all of it was garbage – there were a couple of interesting human interest stories but most of it was about people who are doing nothing but indulging their lower nature.) I found no wisdom there.

Where is wisdom found? it is found in God’s word and it is embodied in the very person of Jesus Christ. We can know Him. He dwells within us by His Holy Spirit. His wisdom is available to us as is His power.

As a matter of fact, Proverbs chapter 8 is a picture of Jesus – read it with Him in mind. And worship!

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  1. Brenda Nash
    Brenda Nash says:

    This is full of rich wisdom….such practical reasoning here. Thanks for this rich impartation! God is so rich in all good things and wisdom is just one of His wonderful attributes!! O to be like him! Can hardly wait for our complete redemption……..pretty good now, but on it’s completion?????WOW.

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  2. Pam
    Pam says:

    Thank you Ruth for sharing this truth and stirring us to see Jesus in Proverbs 8. I think of you when I read 8:14 and pray you will live out this truth throughout your days. I also join in with the prayers of your Grandmother Graham that has prayed Proverbs 3:5-6 for her children and all her grandchildren. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” I’m grateful that the prayers of your loved ones that have been and continue to be responded to by Abba Father for you. I appreciate you taking care of the “good deposit” (2 Tim 1:14) entrusted in you by the power of Holy Spirit! May you daily be strengthen by the love of Christ Jesus and live in the confidence of His delight in knowing you! Your prayer partner, Pam : )

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