Proverbs 4: A Father’s Advice About Wisdom

I used to read the book of proverbs regularly because I felt it made me a better man. I’ve been remembering those days as I read through proverbs 4, and study wisdom.

Remember:

Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. Having Knowledge doesn’t make you wise.

There are a lot of wise sayings that we need to remember as we read through Proverbs 4, and many things we should be taking to heart.

Wisdom is the most important thing in life, not money or fame.

Too often we look to Hollywood celebrities and wish we had their life. However, a lot of them aren’t full of wisdom. They have fame, fortune, and good looks (most of them anyway). However fortunes are lost, and beauty always fades. But wisdom is going to help you through everything.

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Proverbs 4 reminds us that wisdom is a component lacking in our lives, and it’s something we all need to have in our lives.

I urge you as you read this, to seek out wisdom for your life.

Proverbs 4: A Father’s Wise Advice

My children, listen when your father corrects you.
    Pay attention and learn good judgment,
for I am giving you good guidance.
    Don’t turn away from my instructions.
For I, too, was once my father’s son,
    tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.

My father taught me,
“Take my words to heart.
    Follow my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
    Love her, and she will guard you.
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
    And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
    Embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
    she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

10 My child, listen to me and do as I say,
    and you will have a long, good life.
11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways
    and lead you in straight paths.
12 When you walk, you won’t be held back;
    when you run, you won’t stumble.
13 Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go.
    Guard them, for they are the key to life.

Proverbs 4:1-13

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom, I’ve seen some really smart people make stupid decisions and that’s because they had a lot of data, but no idea how to use it.

Remember Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. It Should NEVER be construed with knowledge.

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It’s hard to develop, and it takes work to maintain. But when you have wisdom, your life decisions become easier, and you will excel in many things.

Keep in mind I’m not saying that you’ll never face problems or adversity, but instead you’ll be able to find a way out faster.

This is the beauty of wisdom, knowing what to do in your situation, by looking at the data and finding the right application for it.

In fact, many of us don’t use wisdom to act, instead, we react. Once we seemingly get our lives going the right way we tend to sit back and relax. However, life has its own turmoil, and things change.

This gives rise to turmoil and chaos, and because we are taking it easy we don’t see the warning sign coming our way.

That is until it’s too late and we go into emergency mode. This is why we need wisdom, it helps us look at what’s happening, and if we stay on guard the choices are a lot easier.

Proverbs 4:13-27 Stop Acting Like Wicked People

14 Don’t do as the wicked do,
    and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way.
    Turn away and keep moving.
16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day.
    They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17 They eat the food of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence!

18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
    which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
    They have no idea what they are stumbling over.

20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
    Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
    and healing to their whole body.

23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.

24 Avoid all perverse talk;
    stay away from corrupt speech.

25 Look straight ahead
    and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
    stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
    keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4:14-27

Proverbs 4: How Do I Keep Making Wise Choices?

Here in Proverbs 4, we see a warning against being wicked. The final verse says don’t get sidetracked and keep your feet from following evil.

In other words, stay on target.

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One of the ways I’ve seen Christians fall fast is by getting into relationships (dating/business/friendships) and they allow the other person to influence them.

The Bible talks about being unequally yoked, this means you’ve tied yourself into another person’s life and they are going a different direction than you.

This doesn’t mean we should shun the world and walk away from them, we need to be in the world living our lives and helping them. However, we need to evaluate our relationships with people and see how much influence they have in our lives.

Here in Proverbs 4, we are reminded that relationships (in the sense I posed above) should not be a tug of war. Instead, they should be filled with encouragement, love, and direction.

If any of your relationships are pulling you away from God, you need to run from them. Because your soul is at stake, and telling God on judgment day it’s someone else’s fault will not fly as an excuse. Listen to God, and he will speak to you about this.

Stay focused on God, live your life, and share the gospel. That’s what we’ve been called to do.

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