The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Wisdom
The Art of Skillful Living
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.
The Hebrew word for wisdom refers to much more than an accumulation of facts. In the Old Testament this word was used for anyone who had an unusual degree of skill in a given area. For instance, if a potter could create beautiful tableware, he was said to have wisdom. The same thing would be said of a composer who could take notes and put them together to make beautiful music. A gifted speaker who knew how to use words to move people was called wise by those who heard him. The word means to be skilled in some area of life. Wisdom in the book of Proverbs might be defined as the ability to live life skillfully from God’s point of view. It comes from viewing life from a vertical perspective and acting accordingly.
That’s why the first step in acquiring wisdom is simply to desire it more than anything else. Like everything else in the spiritual realm, wisdom is free for the asking, but it will cost you all you have. Because it is supreme among the virtues, it cannot be had at a bargain basement price. Let no man think he will become wise by accident. No such thing has ever happened since the beginning of creation. No, a man must search after wisdom as if he were searching for silver or gold; he must set aside trivial pursuits in favor of that which comes only from God.
You must turn from evil if you truly want wisdom. In one place we are told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (9:10); in another, that to fear the Lord means hating evil (8:13). You can live in the darkness or you can walk in the light, but you cannot do both at the same time. God invites you to a brand-new life. Do you want wisdom? Then “come . . . eat. . . drink. . . leave . . . walk” (9:5-6). You can have it if you want it, but you must make the decision and pursue wisdom with all your heart.
But there is a further step you must take. It involves humbling yourself, admitting your need, confessing your lack, and asking God to help you. Several times Solomon warns against the man who is “wise in his own eyes” (26:12; 28:11). If you think you have arrived-well, you’re right, for with that attitude, you aren’t going to go any further with the Lord.
After his retirement, someone asked Charlie Riggs the secret of his success in overseeing follow-up and new believer discipleship for the Billy Graham organization. “Every day I always prayed, ‘Lord, put me in over my head.’ That way I knew if the Lord didn’t help me, I was sunk,” he replied. Solomon would heartily approve.
If you want wisdom, you can have it. It’s free, but it will cost you all you have.
Lord, I seek Your wisdom-nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.
In what areas of your life do you need God’s wisdom? What do you think it will cost you to get it?