#GrowWise. Wisdom Calls For An All-In Mentality.

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January 2, 2015

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Proverbs 2:1-11 (read the whole chapter)

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.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you.

CONSIDER THIS

wisdom-oxygen

Have you ever heard it said of a person, “He’s got a lot more want to than will do,” or

“She talks a good game but she never really plays,” or

“Actions speak louder than words,” or

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Those are all proverbs. These particular ones get at wisdom from the back side by warning us. Other proverbs approach wisdom through the front door by winning us.

Proverbs, like the rest of the Bible, do not aim to inform us. They aim to transform us into a certain kind of person. They catalyze the beautiful yet arduous process of becoming.

The Bible concerns itself far more with who God wants us to become rather than what we need to know or do. To be clear, doing is essential but right actions coming from wrong motives are for all practical purposes, wrong actions. They are useless. If you don’t believe me, read this. Jesus embraced sinners of every stripe, but he had no tolerance for people whose “so-called” right actions came from bad motives. There’s a word for it: hypocrite.

Becoming a person of One Book may well begin right here.

Today’s text literally cuts right to the chase. It invites aspiration. To aspire to or for something implies going after it with all you’ve got. Think of someone you know who aspires to be wealthy or someone who aspires to have the “perfect” body or who aspires to be a professional athlete. These are not people who talk a good game and carry good intentions. They are “all-in” people, going for the prize with every ounce of their being. Chances are these kind of people are becoming exactly what they are beholding.

This is how wisdom works. Consider the verbs alone from today’s text:

  • accept my words
  • store up my commands
  • turn your ear to wisdom
  • apply your heart to understanding
  • call out for insight
  • cry aloud for understanding
  • look for it as for silver
  • search for it as for hidden treasure

These words describe what it means to aspire. This little word, aspire, comes from the Latin word, aspirare. It means, “to breathe.” Wisdom is to life as oxygen is to breath.

Are you ready to aspire for Wisdom? That’s really half the battle– getting to that place in your innermost self.

Did you pick up the promise tucked into today’s text? It’s the “then” to the big “if’s.”

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 3.

#GrowWise.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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