Discernment. Logic. Reasoning skills. These were all important concepts to help develop language skills in our students, during my tenure as a Speech-Language Therapist. It was important for students to not only learn their vocabulary and sentence development, but to also acquire the ability to weigh and rightly discern situations to make quality decisions. It is still important in life to gain understanding. Life works more smoothly when we have knowledge. In Proverbs we find the timeless words of wise men and Rabbi’s who taught on the ways to conduct one’s life. Some have described Proverbs as “Wisdom Literature.” We find in chapter 4 suggestions for a better less painful plan to life in the author’s wise and fatherly instruction: “Pay attention, hear intelligently and gain or recognize understanding to live life well.” He states: “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding, for I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction…. Keep my precepts and live. Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!…Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. Prize her and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.”
We can have intellectual knowledge and still end up with a very difficult life. Is it possible that our society has grown in material wealth but possibly failed in encouraging children and young people to develop their understanding and discernment, while learning to think, communicate and reason for themselves. Even Isaiah 1:18 emphasized the importance to “come and reason together.” Instead of making decisions by cultural norms, familial belief structures, he said-she said, what would happen if we were able to pause, take in and process information and respond more slowly to others and situations; while taking time to gain understanding and perspective and prayerfully seeking the Spirit of Truth who comes with divine wisdom and revelation?
Proverbs 4 closes with further guidance in verses 20-23. “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Father, Spirit of Truth, please come and help us to gain wisdom, revelation and understanding as we apply heaven’s principles and precepts to our lives, our relationships and decision making. Thank you for transforming our hearts to better align with you and your word. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. (Eph. 1:17-19a).
In His Love,