Have you heard this quote: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”?* It sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It even seems trendy! But it is as old as the hills. Aristotle said it more than 2,300 year ago. Not only is this quote old, it is wrong! An even older quote found in Proverbs 1:7 explains the right starting point to gain wisdom. It says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”(NIV)
Notice the Proverb has two things it says about knowledge and wisdom. First, it begins with the fear of the Lord. In other words, a profound respect for the Creator of the world is needed to begin gaining knowledge and wisdom. That’s because wisdom is about ethics and justice. Unless you respect and acknowledge God, you will have a hard time knowing what is right. That’s because he is the definition of what is right and good.
Second, the proverb calls those who despise wisdom and discipline fools. You see, wisdom is gained by listening to the teaching of one with moral authority – not by despising it! The entire book of Proverbs is the teaching of a father to his son on how to live a just life. We gain wisdom by listening to the teaching of our heavenly Father, not by knowing our own mind. We accept his teaching, correction and discipline. So, make sure you seek wisdom in the right place!
*”Wisdom Quotes,” goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/wisdom
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.