"Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars. She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table, she has sent out her maidens, she calls from the tops of the heights of the city."
The book of Proverbs -- and especially chapters 8, 9, and 10 -- are about the acquisition of wisdom. And this opening of chapter 9 notes a crucial aspect of wisdom. Wisdom is not in the speculation or talk or dreams of people. True biblical wisdom has actually produced something that has lasted. Notice the verb tenses of this section. Wisdom has built her house. She has hewn out. She has prepared her food. She has mixed her wine.
In other words, when you want to find wisdom, you look for those who have actually accomplished something and not the salesmen who can talk about what they will do and not the professor who spins logical fantasies. When you want to really lock onto wisdom, you ask yourself who has actually accomplished what I want to do. There is always someone. Wisdom is practical and real. Too often we listen to the dream weavers and wordsmiths who make it sound like their ideas will work, but they bring devastation.
Our culture has followed the visions of fools with open marriages, domestic partners, the children will be better if we divorce, junk bonds, stock speculations, all religions are the same or lead to the same place, completely free speech, pornography is not harmful and is protected speech, we evolved from monkeys and slime.
It doesn't matter which relationship in your life needs a dose of wisdom -- God, Self, Marriage, Family, Work, Church, Money, Society, Friends, Enemies. There is always someone who actually has a very together relationship; someone who has actually put that part of their life together. Listen to them. Ask them.
We all desperately need wisdom, and we are often deceived as from whom to receive it. Get it from those who have actually accomplished the wisdom you are looking for. If you wanted to build a building, would you talk with someone who has never successfully built a building or someone who has built a number of buildings and they are beautiful and functional. If you want to fix your marriage, would you talk with someone who has a broken marriage or someone who is living in a happy and contented marriage? If you wanted to become financially free and solvent, would you talk with the person who is deep in debt and working many schemes and plans or someone who is contented, solvent, and debt free? If you wanted to build a church that was healthy, growing, strong, and vital, you should talk with those who have grown a church that was healthy, growing, strong, and vital and not those who theorize about how a church ought to be. If you wanted to enjoy a great family life, you should talk to those who enjoy a great family life and not those who can make great speeches about family life but don't want to spend time with their families.
The Bible is clear: Wisdom is in the heart of those who over a significant period of time have demonstrated the type of wisdom that you are looking for. Do not be fooled by those who are merely rhetoricians - those who can make things sound nice but have not done anything in their own life.
I am greatly concerned that our culture is about to collapse because we do the opposite of this principle of wisdom. Most of our marriage counselors have failing or dreadful marriages. We are more interested in listening to actors and actresses who have played farmers or bankers than we are listening to successful farmers and bankers. We want to explore the boundaries of licentiousness so we let those who are mired in depression, guilt, and brokenness advise us about what is normal, acceptable, and desirable. We are unwilling to really look at the consequences of our actions but want to just keep telling ourselves that these problems we are seeing are normal. We do not want to admit that we are living with the consequences of our foolishness.