The Book of Proverbs establishes that there are only two ways to live – only two paths we can choose to follow. The way of wisdom or the way of wickedness. The way of wisdom leads to life and fulfillment, wickedness to death and destruction. Solomon implores us to choose wisdom, while making clear our natural state is to make choices that are foolish.
We are the naive ones. The ones in need of instruction. Children who foolishly wander onto a busy street. You. Me. All of us. We need training and direction to discover wisdom. We are children in need of a good parent, a guide to show us the way. The great thing is that God is always teaching, always leading. The key question is whether we will listen and follow what He has to say.
God’s voice is all around. God’s word is a light to our path, and a lamp to our feet, illuminating the way of wisdom (Psalm 119). The heavens declare God’s glory (Psalm 19), inviting us to follow His ways. God’s wisdom is embedded in all He has made (Romans 1).
God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and He is always speaking, always guiding us to the way of wisdom. God’s instruction is everywhere, but so are other voices. These voices offer the allure of following our own (foolish) way. To seek wisdom we must choose a fundamental and unflattering perspective. Namely we have to admit “I am not wise already, and I need instruction.”
The only source of wisdom comes from He who designed the world and knows conclusively what works. And that is, at its root, what wisdom is; a way of living that’s actually effective.
What these admonitions point to is the need for us to step away from the illusion of self-sufficiency and recognize that the truth will be found outside ourselves. Not from our own lips, but from the lips of our Creator.