My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
The precondition for wisdom is that you must desire it. You learn what you want to learn. A mechanic is baffled by how much knowledge a physician has about the body and is able to diagnose his problem. That same physician is baffled by the knowledge and ability of the mechanic to diagnose and fix his car’s engine. The truth is that each is able to learn what he enjoys learning.
Even so, this illustration falls short of what the passage is fully conveying. It does not matter that one person does not take the same interest as another in regard to specialized knowledge. Indeed, that is the value of having different interests and mental capacity. We complement and help one another. But wisdom is not specialized knowledge, nor is it a mental process that one can do without. It is not dependent on advanced degrees nor specialized knowledge.
What is needed is a desire for it. If you will pray for wisdom; if you will seek after wisdom through study and observation and through learning from others who are wise, then you will attain that wisdom necessary for well-being. For again, wisdom is not related to the amount of information you possess, but to being a keen observer, a prudent approach to situations that arise, controlling your tongue, and so on. Wisdom is related to attitude. Do you want to act wisely?
And do you? When you look back over a day, can you conclude that your words and behavior were the result of wanting to act wisely or wanting to get your own way? What you want will determine what wisdom you will find.
© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org