The Art of Living

“Let the wise listen…” Proverbs 1:5 We are the most educated, experienced, and information-filled people that ever lived, yet I agree with T.S. Eliot’s lament: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

We are a culture in search of new experiences, the next adventure, new knowledge, the latest technology—anything that will feed our hungry souls.

But experience that doesn’t ignite a passion to know our Creator is just another event—another bit of data logged into the computer called the brain. Books, counseling, and even good spiritual teaching are capable of giving you insight, but sometimes they too are just another source of information.

Wisdom’s song gets muted by a deluge of information. And yet, wisdom can still be found gift-wrapped in a rich and multi-faceted book. His passion for Wisdom and her secrets compelled Solomon to write thousands of proverbs; 560 are recorded in the book of Proverbs, designed to teach us the art of living.

"The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance."—Proverbs 1:1–5, NIV

That covers just about everyone.

Solomon summed up wisdom in one succinct phrase: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom …” (Proverbs 1:7).

Wisdom begins with God. All the words of wisdom ever written in great literature, can be distilled down to that one thought.

Fear is translated from the Hebrew as reverence or respect. The road map for our life journey—God’s Word—is designed to give us warnings, to point us in the right direction, to prevent us from falling, to help us make wise choices, to discover purpose and direction for our lives, and to give us strength to overcome hardships.

That’s quite a gift.

Out of respect for God and Who He is, out of acknowledgment of His love, character, and power, it is simply smart and wise to follow God’s Word.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley