The connection between between the first steps we take in making a decision and its final outcome often seems unrelated. Walking the path of wisdom or the way of foolishness has domino effects far greater than we can imagine.
For us, a disciplined intake of Scripture certainly promises wisdom.
But wisdom offers a course of action, not just a course of instruction. (Tweet that.)
The book of Proverbs reveals the outcome of the pathways we are walking. And it tells us how to stay on the path of wisdom.
The Purpose of Proverbs
The book of Proverbs wasn’t given for us to have great quotes for wall plaques. Solomon states the purpose in the first chapter:
“To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” —Proverbs 1:3–5
The purpose of wisdom is to live wisely. Why? Because we like the outcome it produces.
The Problem with the Path of Wisdom
The problem with wisdom is that its benefits often wait around the bend. We walk the path of wisdom in faith.
For example, how in the world does a lack of wisdom regarding moral purity relate to a Hebrew being cut off from the land? What in the world did the land have to do with morality? Plenty.
- The answer lies in the fact that the immoral person “forgets the covenant of her [or his] God” (Prov. 2:17).
- Impurity at the physical level reveals what has already begun at the spiritual level.
The way you choose to lead your spiritual life always has physical results.
The application of wisdom (or the lack thereof) always reveals itself in life—for we reap what we sow (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Galatians 6:7-8).
How to Stay on the Path of Wisdom
Picture yourself an old man or woman at the end of your life. How do you want your life to end?
- Answer this question for yourself: In what areas of my life must I succeed at all costs? Make an actual list.
- Commit to reading one chapter from book of Proverbs every day for one month. At the end of 31 days, you will have read the entire book. An alternative is to listen to a chapter a day via the free application YouVersion.
- From your reading, choose just one nugget of wisdom to apply to an area of your life that MUST succeed. Then do that one nugget all day long.
Proverbs offers us hope as it looks to the desired end of our lives, and it challenges us to think backward along its logical course.
How do you want your life to end? The path you take today will lead you there. (Tweet that.)
Question: Have you ever read the book of Proverbs in a month. Was it beneficial? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2006), page 33.