The Costly Pursuit of Wisdom
- 2007 12 Mar
I'm a thrift store, yard sale, clearance rack kind of gal. I like a good deal. I also try to keep a schedule for getting the most out of my time. But what if I didn't have to be thrifty? What would I lavish my resources on?
If I could spend money freely on something, what would it be? I could really be charitable and give to more ministries, missionaries, and those in need. I have selfish desires, too. If I had enough money, I'd purchase that whiz-bang curriculum that helps teach every thing to every child, or better yet, I'd hire a maid! If I could spend time freely on something, what would it be? I would love to be hospitable any day of the week. And, it would be nice to have time to read a whole book through in one sitting instead of taking a month's worth of potty breaks. Or better yet, I'd love to have free time when absolutely nothing has to be done.
What I truly need is something that is very costly of both my resources and my time. And I am not always willing to pay the price. It's expensive. How expensive? It costs all that I have! Just what is it that is so costly? Let's look at the book of Proverbs: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." -- Proverbs 4:7
Another translation of the latter half of this verse reads, "Though it cost all you have, get understanding." Obviously it is wisdom and understanding that we are to be spending our time and resources getting, and they are so important that we are to go after them though it cost all that we have. The Son of God is made manifest in the Word of God and spoken of here as Wisdom. Are we going after Wisdom with all that we have or is it just too "expensive"? I sometimes take such a casual approach that I skip time reading the Word because I think I already "know" what it says. That path has led me to slow starvation and near spiritual death instead of the abundant life God desires for me.
"Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." --Proverbs 8:10, 11
This verse asks us to choose things eternal over things temporal. Earthly things can appear precious and they can create a desire in us towards them. However, nothing compares with what God considers precious. He considers wisdom precious; do I? Do I invest my little minutes on getting wisdom, or do I waste what little time I have on things that will fade away? Are the things that take up all my time and resources what I truly desire in my family's life?
Choosing what brings life is costly. It will cost me those little minutes of pleasure reading. It will cost me my little resources to be spent in giving my children Christ-centered lessons. It will cost me time in searching the Scriptures with my children while teaching them character. It will take filling myself with the Word rather than entertaining myself with other things.
The good news is that rewards are involved! I love rewards, don't you? Consider these verses on the rewards of making the right choice: "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." --Proverbs 8:17-21
Sounds like a deal too good to pass up. We actually find God when we seek Him, and He fills our treasuries with things better than gold. So just why do we pass it up? Is it too expensive? If the rewards aren't good enough, the following verse may convince us that it is worth the extreme effort to have an extreme faith: "Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death." --Proverbs 8:34-36
We all desire happiness. This verse says the way to happiness is to be a listener, a watcher, and a waiter. All these things are expensive--they are all costly of our time, our attention, and our passion. The rewards evidently outweigh the cost. For if we find Wisdom, we find life and receive favor from the Lord. If we fail to find Wisdom, we harm ourselves.
The real kicker is here: "all they that hate me love death." I have been there. I have hated the cost and I have not been happy, I have not borne fruit, and I have seen only death in my mothering, teaching, and serving. I have loved death because I have not paid the price to find life. "Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?" --Proverbs 17:16
I have reveled in death as I have refused to come to the source of Wisdom. I have lain stagnant because I have considered all other things more important than the getting of Wisdom. It is a starving, deathly place. If I would just have a heart for it and pay the price, I would be in a place where rivers of living water flow through me--a place where His power infuses me through the wisdom of His Word. His Word brings life. To love anything else is death.
Stop Thinking Frugally
The eternal rewards are worth more than the rewards any effort toward any other endeavor can bring. Though it costs all you have, get wisdom and understanding. You will be one of those the Lord will seek in order to fill your treasures. Anything it costs will be repaid eternally and exponentially. Let's plan to stop thinking frugally and choose to lavish our affections, our energy, our time, our desires, our wealth, and all of our resources in seeking after God and His Wisdom. Is it expensive? You bet--it costs all that we have, but it gives us all that God has!
Don't let the sun set without reading the Bible. Get a Bible reading plan. Put a Bible in a clear recipe stand near the kitchen sink. When you eat or wash dishes, eat some spiritual food as well. Put a Bible in the bathroom. Have your children read a chapter to you while you make dinner. Let them make posters of their favorite verses. If you have only little snippets of time, make the effort to use them to get into God's Word. Your happiness--your very life--depends on it.
Deborah Wuehler is the chief contributing writer for Chapel, and Devotional Door/e-newsletter creator. She resides in Roseville, California, with her husband Richard and their six gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!
Copyright 2006. Originally appeared in Fall 2006. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com