Get Wise

SO, my next writing project is about Wisdom. My virtue speech went well by the way, it was even kind of fun, and I got a fairly good response on this blog. Since that worked out so well, I thought I’d try to post about Wisdom.

The reason I don’t mind using an assignment as blogging inspiration is that I’d like to talk about Wisdom anyway on this blog.

I could give you some dictionary definitions, but defining wisdom is not as simple as just looking it  up. I realized a long time ago that to even recognize wisdom you need to have a tiny bit of it.

And the best way I know of tot est your wisdom is to read the Bible. I’m serious, the more stuff in there that you can understand, the wiser you are.

Lest I risk alienating everyone who doesn’t read the Bible with that statement,let me explain it a little more. I am not saying only Bible–readers are wise, and that it is the only way to become wise. I’m still talking about what wisdom is.

Proverbs is famously known for being the book about godly wisdom, but a lot o proverbs have been retold, or hit upon, by other sources. Aesop’s Fables for one often has stories that line up with Proverbs exactly. In Proverbs we are told to desire wisdom above rubies, above gold and silver, to get it and understanding above all else. The word Proverb actually just means a wise, pithy saying that is usually just common sense. You probably knew that already. Of all the biblical books, Proverbs is the least spiritual and most practical. I don’t know why more non-Christians don’t study it.

Most of the sayings in this book are attributed to Solomon or his mother, Bathsheba. Solomon apparently wrote the book for his son.

I promise I’m giving you this background for a reason.

Solomon is known also as the wisest man on earth before Jesus. He was not born that way, but when he was still a child (by Hebrew standards) he became king, and God visited him, telling him He would give him one request and whatever he asked, he could have it. How many stories and movies have been centered around this idea? The Midas Touch, for one. I am sure there are others, the Fisherman and the genie; any Arabian night story almost has some point where the hero gets a wish. Well, digressing. Solomon must have thought about it, and he says (to condense it) “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king…but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in…Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge you people, that I may discern between good and evil.” (1 Kings 3:7-9.)

Sometimes in the bible, God has one of those jaw-drop moments, or so it seems from His reaction. Of course, He knew what Solomon would say, but God has this ability, kind of like a mom’s to know what to expect and yet still be surprised. he was so pleased with Solomon’s request that he promised him wealth, honor (respect and fame), and long life, on top of wisdom. Later Solomon wrote that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of  wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10.)

very few people like that answer. Why should we have to fear God to be wise?

Well, in my own experience, before we fear God, we always fear something else, whether it’s failure; rejection; people; pain; or loss. Sometimes we fear ourselves. Human beings have to fear something, fear is a natural emotion, but like all emotions, it needs to be directed at the right thing, in the right amount. The fear of the Lord is the healthy kind of fear. Until we fear Him, we will not cease to fear anything else. You have to be more afraid to be out of God’s will than to be out of your own controlled area before you can really do anything for God.

That said, wisdom is born out of knowledge of life, and the principles therein, and those come from understanding. The other thing Proverbs is always telling you to seek, usually right along with wisdom. It is because to be wise, you must first understand things as they really are.

This is why the Christian believes true wisdom is from God alone, because he can show you things as they truly are, and no one else can do that.

The word understanding that Solomon used in the above verses is synonymous with Hearing, a hearing heart is a wise heart.

This is important. In Shakespeare’s great play “the merchant of Venice” the heroine, Portia, utters a candid speech about being good. “If to do were as easy as to know what it were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s cottages, princes’ palaces…I can easier teach twenty what it were good to be done than be one of the twenty to follow mine own instruction!”

Portia makes an excellent point, it is easier to know the wise choice than it is to make it. The wise choice is always the best one, morally, practically, and in the long run, emotionally. But we all know people very seldom make the best choice. It is not hard to find wisdom, Proverbs 2 talks about her crying out in the street, for anyone to get. But they are not interested.

In the end, getting wisdom is not hard, wanting it is. Fools are the people too set in their own ways and own opinions to seek counsel and to learn by it, according to proverbs. getting wisdom requires wanting to hear it, and many prefer rather to talk about their feelings and their problems till the cows come home rather than spend five minutes listening to good advice. A prime example is Lydia from “Pride and Prejudice.” Who, in the author’s words, seldom listens to anyone for more than half a minute, and never attends her sister Mary at all.

The conclusion I come to after this is what I originally thought: asking for wisdom already demonstates that you have it. The beginnings of it.  That is why Solomon exhorts us to seek it, because if we do, we have already started to find it. Wisdom is tuly it’s own fuel, it builds upon itself.

Those are my thoughts for now, until next time–Natasha.

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Poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.

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