Gaining Wisdom Takes Time And It Isn't Cheap

Gaining Wisdom Takes Time And It Isn't Cheap

Proverbs 19:20

20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

Central Truth

Wisdom is a long-term investment.


Who’s advice and instruction should we accept?  The very next verse says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”  -So godly advice and instruction.  “in the end you will be wise”  -This seems to tell us wisdom is for the long haul. 

So many times in my life I want wisdom now, so I seek advice and guidance to help me in my responsibilities in the moment.  But it seems like Proverbs as a whole is teaching us there’s something about wisdom that’s a lot more than just getting advice, and more about the strenuous journey of becoming wise.

So how do we attain wisdom?

Wisdom is for anyone who wants it (9:4 16).  At the same time, it is as costly as character. Wisdom’s generosity is not scattered, but ‘stored up’ for the ‘upright’, for people of ‘integrity’, for ‘followers of God’ (2:7-9)

Wisdom comes by revelation (‘For it is the Lord who gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding’ (2:6); it also comes by discipleship.  The verse 2:6, just quoted, follows a call to determined search in 2:1-5, ‘as for hidden treasures’ (4), which is a search for God himself (5).    The demands that wisdom makes can be summarized as follows:

1. Conversion: a turning form evil- for ‘the fear of the Lord’ (which is the beginning of wisdom, 9:10) ‘is to hate evil’ (8:13; 3:7b) – and from one’s valued independence, that way that ‘seems right to a man’ (14:12); positively, a turning to the light; to God’s salvation.  ‘Turn in here’, says wisdom (9:4); and the range of her invitation anticipates the gospel offer:  ‘Come…eat…drink…forsake…live…walk’ (9:5, 6)

2. Devotion.Wisdom is for the humbly eager – for the lover, the suitor ‘…watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors’ (8:34).It is not for the man ‘wise in his own eyes’; he thinks he has arrived – and indeed he has, for he will never get a step further!Wisdom is a long-term investment.A fool does not seriously want to be a better person; but a wise man is teachable to the end (9:9), open to God’s commands (10:8) and to human advice and criticism (13:10; 17:10); for he values truth enough to pay the price of having it (23:23).

Questions To Ponder

  • How would someone who knows you well say you manage your responsibilities or your possessions?

  • What instruction or advice do you need to listen to right now in the area of wisely managing your responsibilities? Your possessions?

Scripture Memory | March | Proverbs 21:30-31

“No human wisdom or understanding or plan

can stand against the Lord.

The horse is prepared for the day of battle,

but the victory belongs to the Lord.”

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