The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is just click-bait and sensationalism. Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Today we focus on Proverbs 4.
Let’s journey through Proverbs!
Get Wisdom at Any Cost
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Give your all.
Watching the post-game interviews with footballers can be really entertaining. They all say the same things, same catch-phrases: we did what we needed to do, played as a team, those guys (opposite team) are really tough, we just did what we could do.
My favourite, however, is when players say, “I just wanted to go out there and give 110%…”
I’m not good at maths, but I’m fairly certain that’s impossible.
Of course, they’re exaggerating to make a point: we did everything we could – we went ALL IN to win this game.
Going “all in” is something each one of us does on a daily basis.
Whenever we give up time, money, or energy to do something, we are going all in. There are things like relationships, work, or overcoming illness and addictions that take everything we have. And then some.
Why do we go all in? We go all in because the end – the victory, the arrival, the health for our minds and bodies – is worth it.
Solomon starts Proverbs 4 out with this phrase, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (4:7)
The chase for God’s wisdom may cost everything we have – time, energy, money, other people’s opinions about what we’re doing – but what we hear from the Proverbs is that God’s wisdom is worth everything.
As you read the Proverbs, especially chapter 4, you’ll find that chasing God’s wisdom may require that extra 10% of 110%. We are challenged to go beyond even where we think we can go – to find another gear, and to find strength and discipline to walk with God in real life through His wisdom.
Here’s the good news: The full 110% isn’t our responsibility alone. God walks with us – God’s wisdom goes ahead of us so that we can “…look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” (4:25)
When the way of wisdom gets tough, when you are challenged at the core of your life by the teachings of Proverbs, just know: