“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.”
Proverbs 2:2 (NLT)
In last week’s post about Chapter 1 of Proverbs, we see Wisdom crying out in the streets, and no one paying any attention to her. In chapter 2, Solomon advises people to actively listen for, focus on and apply wisdom.
Have you ever been asked, “Are you listening to me?” This question most often indicates that we aren’t actually listening; we are focused on something else at the time. This is important because it’s impossible to give full attention to two things at the same time. That would be like trying to tune your radio to two stations at once, which can’t be done. You can only select one station at a time.
In our lives, wisdom is the best station to which we can tune. Wisdom brings us victory and protection (Proverbs 2:7-8) and understanding and knowledge (Proverbs 2:9-10), saves us from wickedness (Proverbs 2:12-19), and keeps us on the path to righteousness (Proverbs 2:20).
How can we know that we are tuned in to Wisdom? It all begins with fear of the Lord, accepting Him as your savior, and devoting daily time to prayer and reading his word. God’s wisdom does not just come to us. We must seek it, as if it were hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:4). Set aside some time daily to read your Bible. Whether you focus on one verse, one chapter, or more than that per day, as long as you make God’s word your focus at some point during the day, you will begin to be tuned in to wisdom.
Just having wisdom, though, is not enough. According to Proverbs 2:2, you must apply wisdom to receive the full benefit. It’s not enough to have knowledge about what is right and what is wrong. We must put that knowledge into practice in our lives. For example, I can tell my daughter to do her homework. While she knows she should do her homework, if she does not do it, then she will not receive the benefits of a good grade. And, even more than that, she will not have a good understanding of the skills the homework was meant to teach.
In our spiritual lives, we can hear sermons and Sunday School lessons on how to live godly lives, we can read Bible passages that encourage us to live the way God intended us to, and we can pray for help in the areas in which we struggle. From each of these, we receive guidance. But unless we put that guidance to use, we will receive no benefits and our efforts are simply like the clanging symbol in 1 Corinthians 13:1: noise that brings nothing pleasant.
Applying wisdom to our lives is not an easy task, and in some cases the struggle to overcome these things may be painful and can take a lifetime to change. In addition, other “stations” vie for our attention: pride and selfishness, for example, can blur our focus on wisdom. Paul explains the arduous task of applying wisdom in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
So, take Proverbs 2:2 to heart, actively seek God’s wisdom, and apply it in your life! Etch God’s words on your heart and live them. The peace and protection that wisdom brings are better than anything this world has to offer.