Obviously, behaving wisely or sensibly prepares us to respond constructively to difficulties and conflicts. Consider again the examples of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. I don’t know if either of them professed belief in Christ. Regardless, we see how the presence or the absence of wisdom led them to experience life very differently. They began in the same small Alabama town, both moved to New York, both achieved phenomenal success as writers, yet they responded very differently to notoriety. The pursuit of fame consumed Capote, who died early and shamefully. Lee affirmed the impact of her novel, but rejected personal glory. As of this writing, she continues to live quietly and, yes, sensibly.
While wisdom helps us shape our own environments, to make them less chaotic and more constructive, God promises even more. He promises not to leave us to fend for ourselves in a corrupt and foolish world. He promises to remain personally involved with us as we pursue wisdom.
2. Benefits of wisdom from above: protection
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course. (Proverbs 2:7-9)
Put simply, living wisely places us under an invisible umbrella of divine protection. By choosing to pursue wisdom, we align ourselves with God against foolishness, dishonesty, misconduct, and injustice. He delights to support us when we become a part of His agenda. Even so, the support He provides doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. We are, in fact, at war with evil. The world is a battlefield, and like soldiers, we will endure hardships and suffer wounds. Many thousands of martyrs died as a result of the stand they took for the gospel against powerful persecutors. Wisdom brings supernatural, divine protection. His protective umbrella may be invisible, but that does not make us invincible to evil. Not in this life.
But God promises that we will suffer less at the hands of evil if we accept rather than reject divine wisdom. Furthermore, the suffering we do experience will be used for our good (Romans 8:28-39). Still more than that, the suffering we endure now is temporary, eventually giving way to a time when those who seek God’s wisdom will enjoy eternity, where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). We receive some protection now and ultimate protection when He redeems the world from its foolishness and evil.
Between now and eternity, wisdom pulls us up from our shallowness, allowing us to both enjoy God’s best now and maintain an eternal perspective in the midst of a sinful, foolish world.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.