Proverbs 3:13-15

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Essential for a meaningful life is knowing what to value. The cause of much unhappiness is prizing things that are either of little value or even harmful. To set great value on objects will lead to distress. You can experience the pain of losing an object, or the anxiety of holding on to it, or the restlessness of finding that it does not satisfy your pleasure. To value specific achievements causes trouble. You sacrifice and work hard to achieve your goal; then you get injured or sick and your long anticipated achievement is lost. You work hard only to find a competitor who still beats you because you are not quite good enough. Or you fail because you were cheated or fate just didn’t go your way. Or you reach your goal only to find new pressure to stay at the top, to keep your fortune.

The value of wisdom is that, first, she is of true value. Her value has nothing to do with how much others desire her; she is not subjected to fashion and ratings. She does not have to be kept locked up. Insurance is not needed to protect her as an investment. She resides easily in the possession of the poor as well as of the wealthy. There is no competition to fight against to obtain her. She resides easily in the possession of the under-educated as well as the highly-educated. The very possession of her increases peace and security rather than heightens worry about losing her. And the more that wisdom is spent, all the more then that wisdom increases.

How odd then that wisdom is so little valued, and when she is valued, it is only as a means to something trivial or of greater risk. To gain wisdom, first understand her value. Treat her with respect and know the blessing that she brings.

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