The building blocks of wisdom are clearly and carefully enunciated in Proverbs 3:3-12. Consider carefully what the fundamental components of wisdom are:
- Make truth and mercy your constant companions. “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man” (verse 3-4). From God’s perspective, truth is a most valuable commodity. It is to be pursued feverishly, bought willingly, and never surrendered (Proverbs 23:23). Mercy is of equal importance and value to the wise. The pursuit of truth and mercy is much more than an intellectual activity; its attainment is seen constantly in one’s actions and character.
- Place all your trust and confidence in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes” (verses 5-7a). Confidence in self is not a spiritual asset; it is a deadly spiritual stumbling block. As the apostle Paul so vigorously exhorted: “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Like Naaman, the foolish value their own “Behold, I thought” (2nd Kings 5:11) over a “Thus saith the Lord”. God’s will is designed to instruct and govern all your ways, every path.
- Fear the Lord and depart from evil. “Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones” (verses 7b-8). Fools disregard God’s warnings and thus do not depart from evil. As Solomon so thoroughly details with sexual sins in chapters 5, 6, and 7, physical deterioration, emotional devastation, financial ruin, and spiritual destruction await those who foolishly ignore God’s fervent warnings concerning evil.