From my understanding of the text, and please comment below with further insights, Solomon offers four pieces of advice on ways to become wise.
1) Trust and reverence God – I am learning to trust and reverence God more fiercely with each passing year. Many times it is difficult. I would rather trust what I think I know, when what I think I know is not going to yield results. Trusting God brings a peace unlike anything I could try on my own. Yet I still fail to trust and reverence Him at every turn. It doesn’t sound good. I cringe even typing this, but I have to be honest.
~Lord, give me the wisdom to trust and reverence you always. Your thoughts are greater than my thoughts. Your ways are higher than my ways. I desire to rest in you.~
2) Embrace learning – Why is listening to the wise counsel of your parents and elders so darn difficult! As a youth I ignored most of the advice my parents gave. I certainly wasn’t seeking wise counsel in any other elders. The advice of like minded friends or love interest were much more highly valued. Hmmmmn… ya, probably could have saved myself some heartache if I had listened to my parents a bit more. Life is life and thankfully I am learning.
~Lord, let my walk and Jonathon’s walk with you reflect on the lives of our children. Lord, let them see the value in trusting in you. Let them see the importance of seeking wise counsel. Open their hearts to see that we offer counsel because we love them and only want the best for them. Open their ears to hear what we say. Open their minds to be able to discern, to sift through the advice given, and wisely choose the correct path.~
3) Stay away from people who try to tempt you to do wrong – But sometimes doing wrong is so much fun! Define fun. Will this fun hurt you or others? Define fun. Why do I have to follow the rules when everyone else is doing whatever they want. A wise person trusts and reverences God. A wise person knows that He will not leave you nor forsake you. He wants to prosper you and not harm you, give you hope and a future. Seek the ways of wisdom. Seek the ways of the Lord.
~Father, even now I need you. My definition of fun might have changed over the years, but that doesn’t mean that I am not still tempted by others to do wrong. Father in a world that condones lascivious behavior, infidelity and divorce, I need you. In a world that promotes reckless spending, social climbing, and keeping up with the Joneses, I need you. I need you, Lord.~
4) Seek wisdom. Do not shun it. – Sometimes wisdom is imparted by a person you would never expect. Receive it. For me, it’s not necessarily shunning wisdom, it’s shunning the source of the wisdom. I often ask God for something. I pray, I pray, I pray. I get frustrated because God has not answered me. I’ll talk to Jonathon about it and he’ll say, “I thought X just gave you this.” or “Didn’t I hear Y say this to you?” Then it dawns on me. God did answer my prayer, it just wasn’t wrapped in a package I liked.
~Father, open my ears. Open my eyes. Open my mind. Let me receive your word. Give me discernment. Help me to look past my notions of right and wrong and accept your offerings of wisdom.
Thank you Dee Dee for offering up this challenge. While I have read many chapters from Proverbs before, I have never read all of them straight through, and in a short time span. I am eager to see what knowledge I will glean from reading this book of the Bible in this time. Wisdom is shouting in the streets and I am listening.