Reflect on Your Life
1. Describe one of the wisest persons you know (point out at least three characteristics of wisdom in his/her life).
2. How do you think he/she became wise?
Read the Passage
Read Proverbs 1:1-7.
3. For what reasons did Solomon write and collect these proverbs?
Realize the Principle
The wisdom in Proverbs affects every part of life. All actions are marked by wisdom’s presence or absence. In fact, wisdom is seen more clearly in the way we live and work than in what we do. Students, bakers, bankers, and homemakers all do what they do with more or less wisdom. Every stage of life, from childhood to old age, can be evaluated by the number of wise or foolish decisions that have been made. You need the wisdom of Proverbs today. It begins with acknowledging God’s right to be the center of your life. It continues as you allow him to direct every other part of your life.
4. What characteristics of wisdom and discipline would make fools despise both those qualities?
One of the most annoying types of people is a know-it-all, a person who has a dogmatic opinion about everything, is closed to anything new, resents discipline, and refuses to learn. Solomon calls this kind of person a fool. Don’t be a know-it-all. Instead, be open to the advice of others, especially those who know you well and can give valuable insight and counsel. Learn how to learn from others. Remember, only God knows it all.
Respond to the Message
5. Give some examples of fears that have been helpful to you. Based on the paragraph above, why is fearing the Lord the beginning of knowledge?
6. What do verbs like attaining, acquiring, and giving tell you about the way wisdom enters a person’s life?
7. A number of purposes for Proverbs have been given in these opening verses. List them below.
8. Use your list of purposes for Proverbs to give a personal importance rating for each of them. Assign a high, medium, or low rating for each according to its importance right now in your life.
9. Choose one of your highly rated purposes and explain your reasons for giving it that rating.
10. What events or people has God used in the past to help increase or expand your wisdom?
Resolve to Take Action
11. Finish the following sentence as it applies to you. I will have grown in wisdom when I note the following changes in the way I live:
12. Whom do you know who already has the qualities you desire? Decide on a time when you can ask them how they learned that aspect of wisdom. Pause and ask God to use this part of his Word to grow your wisdom.
More for Studying Other Themes in This Section
A. Why would it be a good idea for anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible to memorize Proverbs 1:7?
B. What is the difference between the common definition of wisdom as the accumulation of knowledge and the biblical view of wisdom as a skillful way to see and live?
This study is adapted from Proverbs: A Life Application Bible Study (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1990).