by Amy Kemp
"Get wisdom - it's worth more than money; choose insight over income every time." (Proverbs 16:16)
Because I like to write, I journal daily. My journal pages include scripture, prayer requests, tear stains, and a few drops of long-since dried milk from my breakfast cereal bowl - which tells you a little bit about when words are penned in these journal pages of mine. I've probably filled the pages of 50+ spiral bound notebooks. My kids know that a journal is a safe gift for me; it will inevitably be used.
Sometimes, after I've written a scripture and pondered over it, I'll recognize that God and I shared a unique moment. I will re-read it and think it potentially worth another person's hearing. That happened with my writing from April 30, 2018.
It was a family devotion morning in the Kemp household. When my kids were in school, we started our Mondays with a family sit-down at the table to share a word and a prayer before the week began. I remember it being my week to lead. I opted to read for my family what I had written just that morning. After I had finished, my youngest daughter said, "Mom, did you write that? I thought you were reading from a devotional." So, I put a star by that date in my journal and thought, "Someday, to some audience, I'll share this again." Today is that day. You are that audience. I hope my ponderings from April 2018 bless you.
"Proverbs 16:16 - 'Get wisdom - it's worth more than money; choose insight over income every time.' Every translation I looked at said to get wisdom. That's intriguing. If you get something, you probably didn't earn it or work for it. I tried to think about phrases we often use. We get sick. We get a raise or a promotion. When we go shopping, friends/family members might ask, 'What did you get?' Or, students in a classroom will ask one another, 'What did you get?' when test scores are revealed. We also use that word with emotions. We get excited. Or, we get nervous. We don't use get with intelligence, though. Intelligence is earned; it is sought after. I would think wisdom is similar. In fact, with wisdom there is even more complexity because I've always thought of wisdom as tied to experience. Time and life make one wise. Where would you go to "get" wisdom?
Solomon asked for it and received it according the the scripture, which teaches that you can ask the Lord for it. So, in this verse, "Get wisdom" may be David's call to us to "Ask God to make you wise." Why? Because of its worth! In other verses, the worth of wisdom is likened to gold and silver. I wonder what a 2018 translation might say, ". . . worth more than stock in Apple? . . .worth more than a warehouse of Taylor guitars? . . . worth more than Oprah Winfrey's portfolio?"
In the second half of the verse, there is action on our part. Initially, David says, "Get wisdom." Now, the Word says, "Choose insight." That implies that there are other choices. Insight seems like quiet intellect--watching and observing so that you might walk away having learned something valuable. We can choose to observe, to be silent, and to take away from a situation (a teachable moment) or we can be bull-headed and barrel through, never gaining insight and perhaps damaging people and relationships around us.
Lastly, the scripture says to make the choice EVERY TIME. It's just like us to struggle with these crossroads of choice. We seem to say, 'Just this one time I'll act recklessly' or 'Just this once I'll operate on instinct instead of surmising what God would want. . .just. this. once.' Nope. EVERY TIME, choose insight. Elect to get wisdom.
Pray about it. Speak less. Listen more. Gain understanding, and You will be rich - far beyond the world's standards for wealth."
Thanks for being my audience 15 months later. Now, go get wisdom and choose insight!