Study hard to do well in life… Preach it, brother! Well, Solomon has a challenge to this wisdom which might not lead to a promotion. He says that our acquisition of wisdom will be pleasing to God and will result in our trust in him over everything else…
17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.
Why do you pursue knowledge and wisdom? Think about that for a moment. We read books and attend classes and we watch programs so we can learn new knowledge, skill, and acquire the experience of others through their sharing of it with us.
I propose that the focus of our learning and our efforts to acquire this knowledge and wisdom is so that we will be smarter and better and more self-sufficient and have greater potential in the world. In fact, we have likely packaged these ideas up with a bow and presented them to our kids. Study hard to do well in life…
Solomon’s advice today bucks these ideas.
The challenge he offers is to pay attention and turn our ears to the wise. Apply your heart to his teachings. Those are our action words today. Listen and apply.
If we do, we will have wisdom in our hearts and it will be ready on our lips. YES! Isn’t that what we want? Isn’t that what will get us the promotion or the new job or other success in life? Maybe. But that isn’t the point. Stop getting sucked into that thinking.
There are two outcomes for our relationship with God which flow from our acquisition of wisdom. And by the way, our relationship with God is the point. If we gain the whole world in our amazing strength and wisdom, yet lose our souls in the process because we have missed God’s kingdom coming near us, our loss is eternal… (Mark 8:36)
The two outcomes are that we will please God by having wisdom within us (vs. 18), and we will trust God over everything else (vs. 19). Our acquisition of wisdom will be pleasing to God and will result in our trust in him over everything else. That’s Solomon’s goal for us. And it may not lead to a promotion. It will lead, however, to a godly life of faith.
So what do you want? What do you want for you and for your kids? What do you want for your organization? If wisdom leads to self-sufficiency, we have missed the point. If wisdom leads to trusting God more, we have acquired eternal gold…