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Proverbs: Smart Wisdom

Proverbs: Smart Wisdom

Hey there! It’s great to be back at it writing for Kerux once again. Over the course of last
summer I endeavored to start a podcast with the goal of bringing dead churches back to
life. One of the series I’ve been writing for has been on the need for true wisdom in this
day and age. With that in mind, I believe that this episode manuscript would benefit the
readers significantly. So, if you end up tracking down my podcast and hear this stuff…
It’s not plagiarism, just repurposed material of my own. Enjoy the answer to the
question: “What is wisdom?”

What is wisdom?

Wisdom, as defined by Google is this:
the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being


What is most intriguing to me, from a Christian worldview, is the portion where it says
that you have “good judgment” and “the quality of being wise”. I find that this definition
doesn’t define much at all. It assumes the existence of “good” judgment, and defines
wisdom by using the word “wise”. The latter is a fallacy/circular definition. It’s not
helpful for anybody looking for wisdom.
When I think of this “being wise”, it feels like wisdom, in this sphere, is a quality that
makes the rest of your life easy. Wisdom is portrayed as something exclusively beneficial
to the individual’s wants and longings. I might be acting a little picky, and you’re
probably correct. That’s just an issue I have with the thing. You can take it or leave it.

Now, the “good judgment” portion is what I want to interact with. Proverbs 28:26 says

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be


Outside of borrowing from the Christian worldview and the transformation of the
gospel, people appear wise because of their own ideologies. We have political unrest,
TikTok philosophies, gender ideology, political ideologies. And what every worldview
promotes, as far as wisdom is concerned, is a wisdom that is convenient for their
own “thriving”. For the world, wisdom begins with the longings of the soul. Wisdom is
what gets you ahead in life. Wisdom is a bartering chip used to take advantage of the
The scriptures direct us somewhere very different
While there are some super practical aspects of wisdom in the Proverbs that many
benefit from, the application of wisdom without knowing wisdom himself is like trying
to lose weight by going to the gym, without focussing on the other 90% of things
involved in weight loss.
I listened to a sermon by a man by the named Jeff Durbin. He talked about how the
book of Proverbs can be “David Goggins-esque”. We can start with this motivation to
have our lives defined by wisdom and benefiting from wise decisions. One benefit of
wisdom is that you’ll live a long life. Proverbs 3:1-2 reads

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Honestly, and this is just my opinion, unless you’re a psychopath you don’t want to live
long, you want a life that is described as prosperous, you want a life that brings good
things. However, unless we have our worldview shaped by the one who defines wisdom
(and I’m not talking about Google). If we read this book in isolation from the origin of
wisdom itself, we will be falling into man-centered law of attraction stuff. And that
makes man to be god himself, and that’s bad for many reasons.
We can only understand wisdom, by knowing who wisdom is

  1. Who is wisdom?

Throughout the book of Proverbs, there’s a consistent character. Not a topic, but a
character. Kind of like how Thor is a character in Norse mythology (or the marvel
universe… whatever), wisdom should be spelt with a capital “W”. To be fair, in our
English bibles it will have both. With that in mind, who exactly is this wisdom
character? Who is the foundation of wisdom? Who has brought it into this world
through creation? Is it just a nebulous thing that existed before God? My position says
I recently preached a message on the final message from the sermon on the Mount by
Jesus. Where Jesus is concluding the magnanimous (a word I don’t get to use that often,
so I’m gonna use it here) Sermon on the Mount. Jesus caps it all off with these words in
Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like
a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose,
and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its
foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not
put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain

came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it

fell with a great crash.”

Jesus just did something that religious cults favor ignoring: Jesus is using the same
language that Proverbs uses about the wise and the foolish. It doesn’t take very long
reading Proverbs to see the same language. Throughout the first few chapters, the writer
says, in essence: if you listen to my words GOOD. If you don’t BAD. Starting in Chapter
10 you find the exact same language used by Jesus 10:1 says
“A wise son brings joy to his father
But a foolish son brings grief to his mother”

You will find many contrasts between the wise and the foolish. Not only does this point
towards an all or nothing approach to wisdom, but with Jesus using this language we
can see that he is claiming to be wisdom. Proverbs 8 starts out with “does not wisdom
call out?” (8:1). Wisdom is a person. And we will find this concept as we continue in our
series. As we prepare to journey through the fatherly wisdom from God for this
fatherless generation, I want us to orient our hearts to the true source of wisdom: Jesus
Christ. We will find all sorts of themes and parallels between the Sermon on the Mount
and the book of Proverbs. For the author of Proverbs, we are given a baseline
exhortation for how to live in wisdom:

  1. How can we live with wisdom?
    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge
    But fools despise wisdom and instruction”

Go into your day pursuing wisdom not from your own subjective thinking, not from your
own desires, but begin your day by orienting your mind to align your life with the one
true and living God and worshiping Him in everything you say and do.

~ Gavin Schaefer