LINK: Proverbs 2
The first nine chapters of Proverbs extol the value of wisdom. In Proverbs 2, we see the moral value of wisdom. I see it divided up into three parts:
1) How to attain wisdom
The structure of this part of the chapters is all about the verbs contained in it: receive, treasure, make, incline, cry, lift your voice, seek, search. They require an action on our part. There is something intentional (write that word on my tombstone) about wisdom. It does not just come to us by osmosis or passivity. We must intentionally pursue it with all our hearts.
Wisdom requires that we seek out and take in all that God has for us. It requires that we are open to listen and learn and apply what we have learned in the practical day-to-day grind of life.
The Lord is the ultimate source of all wisdom, and the more we seek Him, the more we will be like Him and He is wisdom.
2) The moral benefits of wisdom
Proverbs 2:7-10 tells us about the moral benefits of wisdom. Wisdom keeps us from evil. Wisdom does not just involve intellectual attainment, but it also involves living a moral life of walking in integrity.
3) The benefit of wisdom when it comes to choosing companions
God wants us to walk in integrity and into the "path of good men" and not walk with the "way of perverse men."
As I meditated today, I thought of the verse in Psalm 119:11: "Your Word I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against You." Wisdom starts with treasuring His Word! It is our most reliable source for knowing God: the sourse of all wisdom!
I find meditating and even memorizing God's Word to be such a valuable means of "treasuring." I will make a shameless plug for memorizing the Topical Memory System . I continually go back to these verses I "hid in my heart" very early on in this journey of faith. It is a great thing to do with a partner too, perhaps the person you are discipling or the person who is discipling you!
It does not just stop with treasuring, but it involves living it out. That is the part that can sometimes be so very difficult! That is also where having a partner is a wonderful thing as you hold each other accountabile to live out the Word!
One area where I did not "live it out" was in relation to the last part of this Proverb. I was not wise about my choice of friends and partners. When I first started growing in the Lord, I had one friend who constantly brought me down. I could not give that friend up though. I was too "loyal," but there were situations I would get in with that person where I would wonder how I got there! They were not good. I have continually seen it as a pattern in my life that God has been changing over time.
I used to be just plain naive about some people because I turned my discernment "off". I honestly wanted to believe the best of the person even though there was mounting evidence that gave indications about their true character. There was something in my "gut" that told me early on that I should not continue going along that person's "way," but sometimes I just did not know how to get back out once I went down the path with the person. It always ended in a bad way though when I realized that I could not bend in compromise anymore. Turning back was tough! Now, I try to discern before I even start walking with a person like that.
It may sound harsh, but I have become very particular about who I "walk with." This does not mean that I do not associate with all types of people and love them. I also do not expect people to be perfect, but when it comes to walking along with someone in a closer association of deep friendship or ministry partnership, I will not compromise when it comes to the integrity of my companion. It has been a lesson that I have had to learn in a very painful way too. The key is really asking God about wisdom in all my relationships. I think sometimes we pursue friendships and relationships without really listening to the Lord.
Thankfully, after many mistakes in the past, God has allowed me to "walk in the way of good men [and women]" in my friendships and partnerships. I am surrounded by people of great integrity that I thank God for every day. I continue to want to pray that He will guard me in the right path!
The most effective way that I know for becoming wise is daily meditation, study, and prayer in God's Word in addition to daily application of what I am learning. I have already mentioned one way is the Topical Memory System.
Maybe you can have some "Treasuring Teas" with someone and treasure God's Word together by sharing what you are "hiding in your heart."
Evaluate your relationships in light of the reflection above. Are you being discerning about whom you are spending deeper time with in friendship and partnership?
Lord, we want to seek You and treasure Your Word which teaches us about You. I praise You God for Your wisdom! Teach us to be wise stewards of our lives and relationships. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.