To what end? To what end do we seek and find instruction for our lives? Solomon says it is your life. It’s pretty important, a matter of life and death, success and failure, mission-critical. It’s dire. And so today we consider the value and the humility of wisdom-seeking…
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Proverbs 4:5-9, 13
People talk about being life-long learners. Our commitment to continuing to read and learn and grow is part of our development as people and certainly as leaders where we have the privilege of serving others through leadership. God is way ahead of us. He’s been on the lifelong learning kick since the days of Solomon. In fact, he’d say if it costs you everything, get understanding. It’s worth it…
There is an ongoing danger, however, that we find ourselves ready and prepared for life, knowing what we need to know. There is a risk that we will think more of ourselves and our wisdom, and so stop pursuing it with the same vigor. We might think we have arrived while in truth, we are still very much on the journey. That’s because it’s lifelong.
So what’s my commitment and yours to chasing down wisdom and instruction and understanding? Do you know where to get it? There are books and conferences and groups and studies and TED Talks. God can use all of these things to help us grow. And he is that Father teaching his child. We can get many kinds of instruction in the world, yet we find in Proverbs 4 that there are pulls away from God and his ways which we will need to battle in our world. The evil can hardly wait to do evil… their influence is not a wisdom that is pure and noble.
To what end? To what end do we seek and find instruction for our lives? Solomon says it is your life. It’s pretty important. It’s a matter of life and death or success and failure. It’s dire. It’s mission-critical.
Wisdom will protect you, watch over you, exalt you, honour you, and celebrate you. That’s all here in Proverbs 4. The acquisition of wisdom and understanding is a foundation to a smooth(er) life. And so will we pursue it today? Will we be humble enough to desire it as something we do not yet have (even if we have been around the block a few times)?
Teach us, Father…