Acquire wisdom and retain it

15  He has made the Earth by His Power; He has established the world by His Wisdom, and stretched out Heaven by His Understanding (Jeremiah 51).

Growing up we were taught to listen to our elders because they had more knowledge from their life experiences; the older they were the more wisdom they had. Those of advanced years have much to teach us about life, and we can take a page from the lessons they have learned. Wisdom guides everyone, regardless of age, to make informed decisions, do what is right, use discretion, and treat others with equity. Foolishness is deterred by wisdom and understanding. Even adults can sometimes behave like children when they thrust wisdom aside. We all need wisdom, and we must acquire it from the best source. 

“The fear of God is the gateway to wisdom.”

2 To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, 3 to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, 6 to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1).

The value of wisdom exceeds any amount of wealth. Wisdom gives understanding to the simple and imperceptible, teaching judgment, concepts, ideas, and revealing thoughts and intentions. Wisdom is accessible to all who desire it. It is available to those who are avid and attentive readers and listeners—those who are willing receive it through instruction, correction, riddles, the wise, parables, and from God.  The fear of God is the gateway to wisdom. God teaches us knowledge because He is the source of wisdom. Those who do not fear God despise His Wisdom. God instructs us by His Commandments, Instructions, Scripture and Truth. He has compiled the best way to live life, as He is the Author of Life. No other wisdom supersedes God’s. 

A wise man will, therefore, listen, learn and take to heart God’s Words, and will endeavor to live by them. Fools despise correction and instruction. They live on a whim, with no regard for consequences. They trust their own understanding and are driven by their desires. Those who fear God will be wise in their conduct, interactions with others, and commit to do what is acceptable to God. Those who are wise will also seek wise counsel from those with integrity. Fear God and understand His Ways. Apply God’s Wisdom to your life and you will have wisdom beyond your years. Wisdom will instruct you to be prudent, just, righteous, and perspicacious.

22  “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jeremiah 4)

God calls those who do not know Him “foolish”.  They have no understanding, they are silly children, because they have not learned how to do what is good. How can they know what is good when they have not known The One Who is Good? They are foolish for being crafty and diligent to do what is evil. If they knew God, they would understand knowledge and become wise to do good. Do you know God? Determine this day whether you are foolish or wise.

“The wise will be kept in God’s Wisdom and Providence.”

So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding. 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 then you will understand the fear of The Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For The Lord gives wisdom; from His Mouth comes knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to those who walk upright; 8 He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints (Proverbs 2).

If you seek understanding and wisdom as you would seek out treasures, longing insatiably for them, you will ultimately come to find them in God. You will search earnestly and wind up at God’s doorstep. You will understand knowledge by knowing God. You will learn wisdom by fearing God. He knows the upright and He gives them fountains of wisdom to draw out from. From His Mouth comes knowledge and understanding; heed diligently—this is your greatest treasure. He will uphold the upright who continually seek Him; who open their ears to listen and their hearts to understand. He will preserve their justice, so that no one distorts justice for the upright. He preserves His saints and no one will prevail against them; God is their shield. The wise will be kept in God’s Wisdom and Providence.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3).

Those who live according to the wisdom of God are not haughty, envious or selfish. They conduct themselves with modesty in their words and actions. Pride exalts oneself above others, while begrudging others’ success. Arrogance has no room for others and their well-being. Where there is envy there are lies, spite, confusion and wickedness. 

God’s Wisdom instills purity in our thoughts and motives. We learn to be peacekeepers, gentle, merciful, equitable in how we view others, and righteous without hypocrisy. Wisdom from above does not make us puffed up with knowledge; but humble, receptive to correction, and altruistic towards others. 

“Desire wisdom more than riches.”

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gains more than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her (Proverbs 3).

Those who find wisdom and understanding should be elated because they have discovered a priceless possession. Wisdom can’t be bought, and yet it profits more than gold and silver. Desire wisdom more than riches. Wisdom prolongs the life of those who live by it. They become astute and nimble in discerning life choices; life decisions that could cost them dearly, if they were irrational. By applying wisdom to our tasks, roles, relationships and lifestyles we are less likely to falter; wisdom honors those who esteem her with great regard. Wisdom trains us how to make a sustainable living. The path of wisdom is marked with kindness and peace with others. Wisdom gives us a superior perspective on life. Those who embrace and retain wisdom will live fulfilled and honorable lives.

11 For the Grace of God that brings Salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Titus 2).

God lavishes on us Grace that we all don’t deserve. When we become aware of our sins, we know we have fallen short of God’s Standards. We expect judgment, punishment, and wrath. But when we receive Grace, we become prostrate with gratitude and awe. God’s Grace has been extended to everyone, regardless of their past. Those who embrace His Grace, with contrition, learn to live in fear and love for God. They are receptive to learning how to live godly, righteously, chary of the deceptive lusts of this world, and attuned to God’s Ways. 

God’s Grace trains us to be spiritually enlightened. We are being transformed by The Life of Christ, The Great God and Savior, Who lives in us. He has redeemed as His chosen, sanctified and justified people, by purifying us for Himself. We are not just being wise for this present life, but we are being groomed for His return. We should no longer live as those who have no sense of direction, but those who are instructed by God’s Wisdom and Grace, for His Glory. Our life that is hidden in Christ is intended for godliness and good deeds, as those who have been redeemed from this present world. 

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from The Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1).

Anyone who lacks wisdom in any area of their life can boldly go before God and ask Him for it. God will give wisdom freely and generously to those who ask of Him; He will not castigate them for their failures. Wisdom is found by those who earnestly desire it. When we seek God for wisdom, we should not question or doubt its relevance and value. Those who ask must believe that they will receive what no one else can give them. They must approach God in faith and confidence. Those who doubt will not receive from God. They are double-minded because they trust in their own understanding and knowledge, and are not willing to fully submit to God’s Wisdom. If we want God to be our source of knowledge, we must set aside our own understanding. 

“Wisdom will keep you from bad company.”

10 When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11  discretion will preserve you. Understanding will keep you, 12 to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, 13 from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; 15 whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths (Proverbs).

How much do you relish wisdom and knowledge? If your soul delights in wisdom, it will be the essence of your life. How rewarding it is when discretion deters from folly! You will learn to choose friends that are a good influence on you, you will shun evil and those who are entertained by it. Wisdom will keep you out of trouble; it will divert you from a dissipated lifestyle and paths of wickedness. 

20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13).

Understanding will keep you from those who are perverse and reckless; whose lives are warped in darkness and obscenity. Wisdom will keep you from bad company. Make a fool your friend and trouble will find you. Make the wise your friend and you will be refined and judicious. 

31 The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. 32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. 33 The fear of The Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility (Proverbs 15).

A true and faithful friend will not just watch as you go to the dogs. A wise person will be honest with you when you are messing up. They will rebuke, correct, and counsel you when no one else is bold enough to do so. Learn from the wise by not taking criticism, correction, or rebuke with a bad grace. As difficult as it is to listen to others disclose our negative attributes, it is important to take what we are told into consideration. We can gain more understanding by being receptive to others’ views. We are wiser when we address an issue that will benefit us. Fear God as He speaks to you and be humble before His Counsel. He honors those who are malleable to His Instructions. 

“Wisdom gives us a superior perspective on life.”

Wisdom is not just reserved for seniors or our elders. Wisdom calls out to those who long for knowledge and understanding. God is the fountain of wisdom and the source of all knowledge. Those who fear God will learn wisdom; and those who know God will gain knowledge. Wisdom is more valuable than gold or riches. Wisdom teaches us discretion, justice, righteousness, peace, purity, and keeps us from harmful relationships. God will continue to supply wisdom as long as we seek it in faith. Wisdom will prolong our life here and prepare us for eternity with The Lord Jesus. We must learn to embrace rebuke, correction and instruction from those who are wise, and are looking out for our well-being. We can learn to see ourselves as those who are wise in our conduct, relationships and responsibilities. Fools despise God’s Instructions. We have God’s Word, and He uses others to counsel, instruct and open our understanding. Wisdom is found in God and it is the best of God’s Riches to those who fear Him. 

1 I will sing of Your Love and Justice, to You, Lord, I will sing praise. 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life. When will You come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. 3 I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. 4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me. I will have nothing to do with what is evil (Psalm 101).

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