I once heard a wise man say that he made a habit of reading a verse or two of Proverbs daily and meditated on them. He never found a situation in which the words he learned and took to heart could not guide him through. He suggested that if you wanted to increase your wisdom and have the right response in every encounter you have, then make that part of your daily routine.
I decided to take him on that challenge. I’ll admit that I didn’t get through the whole book. Okay, I didn’t get far at all, but I can see what he meant. I saw how much I could apply to my day to day life and was amazed. It is a wealth of information.
So here we go actually going through the entire book.
For attaining wisdom and discipline;
For understanding words of insight.(NIV)
Let’s Make it Personal
Want to take this journey with me? Get a notebook. Make it a clean notebook if you can. You’ll need all the pages. You might even need a second notebook by the time we are done.
On the first page, write today’s date and the verse from Proverbs. Head a section under it called “My Thoughts”. Write down what you first thought of when you read this verse before you read any further here. It’s okay if you write only a paragraph or if you write a page or two. Just jot down anything.
Now, let’s go on.
To get a better understanding of this verse, let’s start with the meaning of these words. I’ve found that I comprehend better when I understand what the words mean. Puts me at the right starting gate.
Webster’s dictionary gives us these definitions:
- Attain — to come into possession of
- Wisdom — good sense or ability to discern inner qualities
- Discipline — training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
- Insight — the power or act of seeing into a situation
Where Does That Take Us?
Why would we want to attain something? Because it is valuable, precious, beautiful, or useful. We want it to be ours. So according to this verse, wisdom is something valuable that we should want to have in our possession.
Why is wisdom valuable? Because it is not obtained cheaply. As the definition says that wisdom can be described as good sense, think of how often we go with good sense as our first action. We usually don’t, especially as a child. We have to learn and the lessons can be hard as we personally experience things around us, learning what is good sense. Let’s use the age old example of the hot stove. Good sense tells us not to put our hand on a hot stove, but to a small child what could possibly hurt them? We know too well, but probably because we once put our hand on the hot stove and felt the pain. It is worth knowing that the stove is hot. There are a lot of hot stoves in our lives and we would pay dear money to know where they are.
Why would any sane person want to have discipline? Isn’t that painful and we try to avoid pain, right? Yes, discipline can be painful but most of the time only because we have caused it to be. Discipline is defined as training. Think of the military. Their training is tough and at times painful. The soldiers do not forget it and it will save their lives and those they love down the road. Now, think of your job. When you first started your job, you probably didn’t know everything there was to running that position smoothly. It took making mistakes, trial and error, before you would be the one that people went to for direction and help. Granted, the training might not have been physically painful, but it “hurts” the ego and humbles one. In the end, discipline is something we want to attain and are at times willing to sacrifice our lives to get it.
For attaining wisdom and discipline;
For understanding words of insight…. (NIV)
We should be studying Proverbs so that we can have in our possession good sense and training to face life’s adventures, so that we can understand wise words that are before us and use them effectively and wisely. So goes any argument not to study the book of Proverbs. We begin a journey through the entire book of Proverbs with regular sojourns into these “words of insight”.
Make it Personal
Take out that notebook again. Don’t hesitate to jot stuff down from the read. Now, let’s look at some more personal questions. Write out these questions in your notebook and answer them. You might not want to just write them all out at once. Write the first one and spend some time answering it. Then move on to the second one. You might be surprised to find out that you can’t answer them all in one sitting or complete each question right now. Come back to it as you think about it. That is great. It shows growth.
- What do you wish for?
- List out material items you’d like to own one day.
- Do you desire wisdom or do you just say you want it?
- What are you willing to do to attain wisdom?
- Are you willing to receive the discipline it takes to have such wisdom?
- What will you do with the wisdom once you get it?
- Does wisdom scare you?
Wisdom is not solely discussed in Proverbs. It is a topic found throughout the Bible. It’s time to explore what the Word has to say about it beyond Proverbs.
Using a concordance for the Bible, list the books where wisdom is mentioned. We’ll continue this in the coming days.