“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity.”
We are living in the information age, but it is painfully evident we are not living in the age of wisdom. People have access to more information than any time in human history. However, despite the nearly unlimited availability of information, wisdom is increasingly absent.
People display a frightening inability to distinguish truth from error. Common sense is a rare thing, and discernment and wisdom even more rare. T.S. Eliot, the great English poet, got it right when he asked two questions: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul warned about being fooled: “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” (Colossians 2.4)
In 2 Thessalonians the apostle warned about being fooled with respect to the Second Coming: “Don’t be fooled by anything they may say.”
Scan the scriptures, and you will find many verses where the warning is clear: Don’t be fooled.
“Do not deceived.” (1 Corinthians 15.33)
“Let no one deceive you with empty words.” (Ephesians 5.6)
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6.7)
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” (James 1.16)
“See that no one leads you astray … Be on guard, keep awake.” (Mark 13.5, 33)
We are in desperate need of disciplined thinking. The opening verses of Proverbs quoted above describe wisdom and discernment in a multi-faceted way. True wisdom has several characteristics, and this passage describes essential elements of true wisdom.
Tomorrow we will consider each of those elements.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.” (Proverbs 14.8).