Wisdom for Right Living

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading


Acquiring Wisdom

Most of us would agree that the cost of higher education has skyrocketed in the last few years, in many cases faster than the cost of living. Acquiring knowledge is costly. It not only costs money; it costs time and effort. The Bible tells us wisdom can be costly, too. It costs a great deal, and a person who is not willing to pay the price may spend years acquiring knowledge and end up with very little wisdom. 

In his introduction to the book of Proverbs, Solomon advises his son, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7). In these words, Solomon may be encouraging his son to spend his time applying himself diligently to his studies. He may be encouraging him to sacrifice things he would rather do in order to gain wisdom. But he may also be encouraging him to learn from his experience, however tough. If experience is the best teacher, it can sometimes be the toughest teacher. Whatever he means, he says obtaining wisdom can be costly. 

When Solomon writes about acquiring wisdom, he uses forceful language. His son, he hopes, will apply his heart to understanding, call out for insight, cry aloud for understanding, look for it as for silver, and search for it as for hidden treasure (Prov. 2:3-4). This is a process that requires focus and effort. Wisdom does not just come to us; it is to be seriously pursued. When we observe people, it seems apparent that some are naturally wiser than others. However, in this passage, Solomon tells us wisdom can be acquired by those who put in the effort. That is one side of the issue. 

The other side is that wisdom is God-given. Solomon writes, “Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:5-6). As is the case so often in Scripture, the divine and human sides work together. God gives but expects us to put in the effort to receive.

Are you becoming wiser? Is wisdom one of the goals of your life? Are you pursuing wisdom? Do you practice the prerequisite fear of the Lord? Does He hold first place in your life? The alternative is foolishness.

Prayer: Lord, give me a heart to pursue wisdom, to chase it down, to grasp it when I find it. Let me never turn away from the fear of the Lord. May I always own You as absolute Lord and recognize your glory and power. You are Lord.