READ PROVERBS 8:1-36
When a person demonstrated exceptional ability in a craft or art, that person was said to have what the Hebrew language calls hokma. English-speaking translators render it as “skill.” Solomon selected that Hebrew word to describe the quality needed by anyone who wanted to live life in the superlative-a life of excellence. When Solomon used this word this way, English translators use the word “wisdom.” Wisdom, then, is that quality that enables one to live a noticeably, recognizably outstanding life. Imagine how much this wonderful thing called wisdom can contribute to effective leadership.
Not all leaders think about wisdom, per se, as a character trait that needs to be carefully cultivated. Certainly, wisdom can and often is the end result of long experience in the leader’s field of expertise. But the leader who gains wisdom by making poor decisions and learning from them is much farther behind than the leader who seeks the right kind of wisdom from the start.
In Proverbs 8 wisdom is portrayed as a woman calling out for all to embrace her. Notice especially what she claims in verses 12-21. What leader in his or her right mind would not want such a priceless tool? Spend some time with this chapter. Heed wisdom’s invitation. Imagine this wise and wonderful woman gazing strongly into your eyes and saying the words recorded in verses 32-36. Can you think of anything more valuable to leadership than this?
Wisdom and Who God Is
Wisdom is elusive, and it seems to be in short supply. Some people are crafty and shrewd, others are well-informed and highly educated, but few of us manifest the quiet depth of wisdom. What is the secret and the source of wisdom? Turn to Job 28:12-28 for the answer to the question, “Where can wisdom be found?”
Wisdom and Who I Am
Wisdom is the ability to use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. It is not merely a matter of information or knowledge, but of skillful and practical application of the truth to the ordinary facets of life. Turn to 1 Kings 3:5-14 to consider the implications of Solomon’s request for wisdom.
Wisdom and How it Works
How many of us have looked back across the ruins of failure and said, “I knew better. Why didn’t I listen?” Solomon offers an essential fact about wisdom that scares the discerning reader into thinking twice about heeding wisdom’s invitation (Proverbs 1:20-33).
Wisdom and What I Do
Where is wisdom found and how can it be exercised? John Piper draws on several Old Testament passages to provide us with a practical answer. Turn to Proverbs 24:14 for today’s reading.
“Have a blessed day, I am.”
A. T. S .