Athlete, Wisdom is Greater Than Wealth
Proverbs 4:7 (NIV)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
I love T-shirts with a good message. A valued friend gave me another one the other night. I know it’s gonna be a favorite.
Screened across the chest in simple gold letters applied to soft black cotton was written this simple equation: WISDOM > WEALTH. That’s good math. That’s good life. God says so.
Support for such a statement is found all over God’s Word. Proverbs 4 is one of those sweet spots. There King Solomon, known as the wisest man in the world, declares: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.“
Solomon saw that wealth gets too much playing time in our thought life and in our world. God showed him that wisdom needs far more attention … and deserves far more.
Diving deeper, here are a few things the Word teaches us about wisdom:
IT’S BETTER. Wisdom is better than wealth because its rewards are better. Here are a quick three:
LIFE. There’s a difference between making a living and having life. The Bible says that to have wisdom is life. To see, to understand, to love well, to confidently choose good, to avoid ruin — all these things come with wisdom, not wealth (Proverbs 4:4,10,13).
Wisdom is life-giving and health-giving (Proverbs 4:22). There’s no such guarantee with wealth. If wealth promises this, it’s a lie.
SECURITY. Wealth can’t protect people either. Not really. Death and destruction come to everyone’s doorstep. The Bible says that wisdom protects and watches over us. It keeps us from detours and ditches and doesn’t allow us to stumble (Proverbs 4:6,12).
HONOR. Wisdom crowns people with honor. It finds a way to bestow honor when it is honored. Having wealth doesn’t honor who you are, just what you have. A humble, wise servant’s death can receive far more acclaim than a rich man’s funeral.
GET IT. Pursue wisdom, don’t just admire it! Chase it down. It can be acquired, so seek it. Find wise people and inquire of them. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible. Life doesn’t have to be only learned by trial and error. Go counterculture. That’s a big thing to understand.
FIND IT HERE. “In Christ are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge“ (Colossians 2:3). No matter where else you look for wisdom, always drop anchor here. Get to really know Him.
Jesus is a treasure chest of wisdom. And look for others God has placed in your life too. They’re there. God always sends messengers.
WISDOM = UNDERSTANDING. Treat them like synonyms. To get one is to get the other. To understand is to be wise. Like wisdom, prize understanding.
Reflect: How wise are you? In whose eyes? How wealth-driven are you? Do you believe that having wisdom is greater than getting wealth? What changes in your life’s economy might need to be made?
A prayer to consider: LORD, fill me with wisdom, with Your mind on matters. You are the fountainhead of understanding. I treasure what You have to say above all others.
Help me to keep asking myself the question, “What’s the wise thing to do?“ Turn my eyes from worthless things and keep showing me the path of life by Your Spirit, through Your Word.
My wealth begins and ends with knowing You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.