15 Proverbs to Read for Wisdom Today
- Aaron D'Anthony Brown Contributing Author
- 2022 23 Mar
You’ve probably heard your parents say at one time or another, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” then follow up with, “You have to work to earn a living.”
They were correct in a way. Money doesn’t grow on trees, not in the spendable way at least. There’s something else that doesn’t grow on trees. Something we can’t live without. We call this thing wisdom.
What your parents said about money was wisdom they received from their parents. One day you may have children of your own, and you’ll tell them the same thing.
Wisdom is like money in that we can exchange it, you share wisdom with me and I share wisdom with you. But wisdom gained is never lost, unlike money. Money is temporary, wisdom lasts a lifetime. Maybe that’s why Scripture regards wisdom as more valuable than riches.
You wouldn’t know that though looking at modern society. We live in a world of instant gratification and quick fixes. People from business entrepreneurs to rappers talk plenty about attaining wealth, but when was the last time you heard someone make a song about becoming wiser?
Wisdom takes time to cultivate. And unlike money, wisdom doesn't promise quick fixes. Yet, as another wise saying goes, “The best things in life are worth waiting for.” Wisdom definitely qualifies.
There’s a shortage of wisdom going around today. Maybe because we’re more plugged into our phones than each other, more apt to turn on CNN or Fox News than seek advice from Scripture. Whatever the case, whatever the reason, engaging with God’s Word can make us wiser.
In the saturation of war, sex, propaganda, and secularism, there are three areas where we could use more wisdom: truth, communication, and faith. Let’s take a deeper look at each and find some words of wisdom – proverbs – to apply.
What Wisdom Teaches Us about Truth
What is truth? There is such a thing as truth, but there are many people today who label themselves as moral relativists. That means, similar to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, truth operates the same way.
Interestingly, those same people are willing to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong!
Should you adopt the moral framework given to you by people, or do you know right from wrong based on what God says?
Separating fact from fiction today can get tricky when we’re not plugged into His Word. The news adamantly tells you what to believe, while skeptics tell you who not to trust, and you can easily get caught in the middle.
Scripture functions as a guiding light that helps you discern through the voices. Hold someone’s behavior or an idea against Scripture. Is what they purport true? Ask questions. See how they respond. Listen to what they say, and watch what they do. That’s how you find truth.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
We must be careful with where we plug our minds into. Music, the news, art, all influence us.
“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
We learn wisdom from listening to outside sources, not ourselves.
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)
Wisdom is superior to riches.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
We may think that everything we do is just, but without being open to correction, we lead ourselves to ruin.
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
Some of us take comfort in the media we consume. If only we would realize the greater comfort God offers.
Photo Credit: ©Sparrowstock
What Wisdom Teaches Us about Communication
There are plenty of do's and don’t's in our daily communication. Without wisdom, we wouldn’t know how to best relate to our spouses. Without wisdom, we wouldn’t know which strategies are the most effective for child-rearing. Our words and how we speak them can make or break any relationship.
Scripture is clear about what behaviors and ideas constitute holy and healthy relationships.
How we relate to one another affects the shape and depth of our communities. Bad communication is part of the reason we have such a politically divided nation now. Not everyone chooses to come together for rational and logical conversation. Not everyone is interested in compromise where such is possible.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
Politics is laced with name-calling, but such tactics never change people’s minds. Just the opposite.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
A compliment has the power to bring more than just a warm feeling. Words can encourage.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Social media has led us to consider everyone a friend, but everyone is not deserving of that label.
“To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.” (Proverbs 18:13)
Do you cut people off before they finish or have a reply before they’ve stopped talking? This verse is for you.
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 26:4-5)
Some people read this verse and see a contradiction. However, what the verse is getting at is discernment. Wisdom allows us to discern when and how to answer a fool and anyone else.
What Wisdom Teaches Us about Faith
If there’s a single word to describe our relationship with God, that word is faith. Great faith indicates a strong belief in God. Weak faith suggests the opposite.
What faith also reveals is our relationship to fear. When our focus is on our present dangers, we think less of God. For the past couple of years, many people feared death from a virus. Many of those same people lost perspective of God.
The fear was so evident in our society, we took childhood away from many children though they were least affected. Now, our present fears echo WWIII, inflation, and other concerns. What should we do in response? Scriptural wisdom says to turn to God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
Spiritual wisdom is gained when we turn our attention to God. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn helpful lessons from other people, but godly wisdom has to originate with God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God is present every day all the time to hear the concerns of our hearts. He’s also willing to guide us if we take a chance on trusting Him.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
The more conformed we are to the image of Christ, the more our goals will be in tune with God’s desires.
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17)
Wisdom here suggests that how we interact with others has a direct correlation with how we view God, and also, affects our relationship with Him.
“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 24:14)
Wisdom adds a greater sense of security to our futures.
Whether old or young, wise people are always open to learning. Wise people know that everything that they do isn't right, and they want to grow. God’s Word helps us do just that.
But that’s a choice we have to make. Without wisdom for ourselves, there’s none to pass on to the next generation. If our lives don’t reflect a need for God, why would our children want Him?
Christianity is on the decline in America, now dropping below 50%. That number is reason for concern, but not for worry. Just because our country is on a certain trend does not mean that the trend cannot be reversed.
However, to do so we have to be equipped with the three aforementioned qualities: truth, communication, and faith.
People need to be able to see God when they look at us. When we speak the need to hear God’s Word, not some personal interpretation where we leave out the parts that we don’t like. And lastly, we need to present people with the truth. There is such a thing as right and such a thing as wrong. We aren’t perfect people.
By admitting that we acknowledge our need for grace and serve as a role model for potential believers.
If we can present the message of God and the need for Him clearly and faithfully, then there is a chance America can become a Christian nation again.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Ben White
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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