Pondering the Principles of Proverbs
(Pro. 4:7 NAS)
The beauty of wisdom lies in its simplicity.
We so often overlook the obvious, but this proverb shows us that it is helpful to state the obvious: The beginning of wisdom is to get it.
Why? For one thing, wisdom is its own reward.
For another, not being wise has some serious side-effects, as in: Stupid kills.
Being wise for its own sake, though, also has serious limitations.
The second part of this verse alludes to that with its statement: “And with all your acquiring, get understanding.”
How can one have wisdom without understanding?
Maybe a couple of illustrations will help resolve that dilemma.
Most everyone carries the wisdom of “A penny saved is a penny earned.” But, how many people actually practice saving money?
What I have observed is that most people only think of “saving money” when they are spending it. They will go to a particular store because they have the lowest prices, thereby "saving money."
While it may be true they are “saving,” about all it amounts to is having a little more to spend somewhere else. They never manage to actually save money so as to position themselves in a place of wealth.
Gaining understanding of all the applications of the proverb would keep many people out of the serious debt-hole they are sinking in.
We have the wisdom of knowing the laws of inertia, yet we continue to extricate people from car wrecks everyday. Understanding how to apply the laws of inertia to driving would greatly reduce the number of crashes on our roadways.
Those are just two of the things off the top of my head. I could list many more without much effort, but I'm sure you get the picture of having wisdom without the knowledge of understanding.
The world spends trillions on education, but neglects wisdom and understanding. Parents sacrifice for children to “get an education,” as if it were the noblest of human goals. They do not realize that learning without wisdom or understanding is dangerous, for it gives false confidence in knowledge.
Modern education has produced this sort of problem, because everything is “about the test.” At least, that is what the kids believe. Therefore, when the test is done, the knowledge is done and gone. Consequently, lifelong learning seems to have no point, because "there is no test."
There was a little ditty back in the early 70s that went something like this:
You may go to college
And you may go to school
But if you aint got Jesus
You's an educated fool
The point of the proverb is this: Make the acquiring of wisdom your lifelong pursuit, but also make sure you learn how to use it.
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