There is an ancient proverb that says, “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool—shun him. He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child—teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep—wake him. But he who knows and knows that he knows is wise—follow him.”
Another proverb says, “A fool never learns from their mistakes. A wise person does learn from their mistakes, but a wiser person learns from other people’s mistakes.”
In the Scriptures, we are taught that the most priceless commodity that we can possess is wisdom. We need it for all of the roles that we fill and all of the responsibilities that we carry. Wisdom is paramount, and once we get it, it spreads to every area of our life, enriching and empowering us. According to the Scriptures, there are three ways to get wisdom.
First, we ask for it. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Second, we fear the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the entry point to wisdom is fear—reverence—for God: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Practically, if we approach every situation in our lives from the perspective of how to best honor the Lord in it, we will open the door to all of the wisdom we need. If we approach every conversation, relationship, or tricky decision through the grid of how to best revere God, wisdom will find us and we will make wiser choices.
Third, we follow the Scriptures. The Scriptures themselves make us wise. Psalm 119:98 says, “Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.” Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and the Scriptures possess the wisdom we need for managing ourselves. The passage continues: “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (verse 99).
So, if we want wisdom (and we do), we ask for it, we honor God, and we study the Scriptures. When we do these things, wisdom grows in us and spreads to every area of our lives. Let’s be wise and let’s be continually wiser. Let’s be people that other people can follow.