6 months ago when I read Proverbs 23 I wrote, "How I need wisdom, discipline, and understanding. How I need my eyes to keep to the way of the heart God has given me. How I need truth that is not compromised – in order to have that wisdom, discipline, and understanding. How I need wisdom to keep my heart on the right path. How I need for my lips to speak with is right … in every area – from meeting strangers and looking for business connections to presentations to building relationships to planting seeds of faith to driving vision and leaders."
Today I would come to God with overwhelming gratitude – that in these recent years of so much introspective doubt, there has come a bit of a peak when I can see where i've been and where I'm going. Of course another valley and subsequent climb lies ahead of me to get to the next peak, but what a relief it is for each of us when we can be reassured we are on track and moving in the direction of God's call on our lives.
While reading the Psalms can be so affirming in this area, due to David's challenges for his very life and temptation to doubt that anointing as a young man where he believed God called him to be king, but his son Solomon was the benefit of so much inherited wisdom that rarely is defeat expressed in his writing directly. On the other hand, the frequent reminders of those "7 abominations that fill the fool's heart" (Proverbs 26:25) are repeated throughout Proverbs, and that must reflect some of Solomon's own personal temptations and defeats. Knowing he has been blessed with such abundant wisdom, it must have been so difficult for Solomon to see these evidences of the fool in his own life – in his own propensity to perhaps focus on external appearances – wives and women, houses and wealth. Also blessed with the call to build the temple, he knew God was with him – but how he struggled with temptation. And in that way, could recognize those around him who also struggled and gave into defeat.
More than anyone, Solomon recognized that wisdom was not dichotomous, but most powerful when all the pieces of the whole synergistically worked together – all those 7 pillars set on the right foundation. What I think, what I feel, what I watch, what I listen to, what I do, where I go, where I came from (inheritance) and attention to where I am going (the ultimate fear of the Lord), they all work together to make me into the wise, discerning, loving, child of God. That knows who to listen to and what to watch, that touches people's lives by reaching out with my mouth, my hands and feet – the person I was made to be.