Scripture: Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: 4 “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. 5 O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it…10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; 11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”
Observation: In this passage wisdom is personified and given voice (v.4-11). The writer asserts that wisdom and understanding are far more precious than material wealth. When we use wisdom and understanding to guide our way, everything else takes care of itself.
Application: I watched my son Nick graduate from college last week, alongside several hundred others. There’s something to be said for a young person who can start in a degree program – and finish it. Getting one’s degree requires perseverance and commitment. No doubt there were times when these students would have preferred to ditch the books and have some fun instead of study or work on an assignment. There were mornings when they’d have rather slept in than get out of bed for an early morning class. And of course being broke all the time gets old. Would be nice to work extra hours instead of study, to enjoy some folding money in the pocket.
But wisdom requires we say “no” to short term things so we can say “yes” to long term rewards.
Here’s another truth: one never outgrows the need to exercise wisdom. And it’s not easy to do at any age. A question I’m asking myself this morning: Where do I need to say “no” when I want to say “yes”?
Prayer: Lord wisdom is indeed more valuable than any material possession, but acting from wisdom is hard. It requires discipline and a focus on the long run. Give us grace to set aside our childish wants and say yes to things that are truly important. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.