“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
If you had to sum up the book of Proverbs in two words it would be, “Get wisdom.” With wisdom, decisions are made on sure ground. And, who doesn’t want to make good decisions? But how do we get godly wisdom to make those decisions? According to Proverbs 2:1-5, there are definite steps we can take:
Accept the words and store up the commands of wise and godly counselors. When we hear God’s word, we can hide it in our heart as Psalm 119:11 commands. We also have to be humble enough to admit we do not know all the answers and ask the help of someone with a better understanding. It’s so easy to research just about any topic on the Internet, but consider how much better it can be talking with a live person. God made people to be with people. Don’t let stubbornness and pride ruin your opportunity to become better and connect with others.
Listen for wisdom. The idea of “turning your ear” evokes an image of attentiveness or leaning in to hear something. I love this image of active listening – imagine your friend is whispering something to you and you have to lean your head close to hear what she is saying. That’s intent listening! As you read your Bible today, read it with purpose – really consider the words before you.
Apply your heart for understanding. Knowledge itself is not enough; we should not simply settle for knowing something. We must put what we learn into practice. As Mark Twain once said, “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding. We must call out to God in prayer for wisdom, asking him to show us where we fall short in any area of our lives in which we lack understanding. When children fall down and scrape their knee, they sometimes cry aloud, partly because it hurts and partly because they instinctively know they have to cry for help. Somehow we lose that humility as we grow into adulthood, but let’s aim to be humble and ask for help. God wants his people to cry out to him. As Psalm 61 reminds us, he is ready to listen and to help.
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
Psalm 61:2-4 (NLT)
Search for it as for hidden treasure. We should view wisdom as a treasure and actively seek it by searching our hearts to see where we fall short, studying and praying God’s word and talking with godly people.
All of the ways we seek wisdom are active – wisdom doesn’t just come to us. The search for wisdom may sound like an exhausting and never-ending pursuit, but think about what treasure you will gain from it! This ardent treasure hunt will result in the greatest bounty of all – a victorious life in Christ. Beginning today, join me in becoming a listener, crier and treasure hunter!