Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:13
"How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding?"
Wisdom is not something that you stumble across. You must be looking for it. You must find it. Solomon is saying that the truly right choice is not always easy to find. It often takes investigation and thought. It may require a process that is much longer than the easy and selfish choices that quickly present themselves.
This is the Hebrew word esher which means happiness or blessed. This word has the meaning of being in an enviable position. You have attained or have something that others would clearly want.
It is interesting that in this case it is attached to the possession of wisdom. When you have wisdom you will be in an enviable position. People will see the choices that you make and the type of life that you lead, and they will be hoping that they can also have what you have.
There is another way of looking at this word blessed and that is to see it as fulfilled or satisfied or filled up. You are satiated with what your life is bringing to you. This is the idea that when you do the work of making the triple-win choices, those choices will fill up your life to a level that others don't have. Enjoy the blessing of that fullness.
This is the Hebrew word hokma which is the typical word for wisdom. Wisdom, in shorthand, means making the right choice of all the choices that you have in front of you. It means that you have ferreted out the choice that satisfies the three prongs of wisdom: it honors or glorifies God, it is a win for the other person, and it is a win for you. If any one of these outcomes is not obviously involved in what you are about to chose, then it is not wisdom and you should back up. Remember that there is a wise choice in every situation. Sometimes it takes awhile to see it. Sometimes it takes awhile to embrace the wisdom in a choice.
This is the Hebrew word bina which means understanding. It carries the idea of being able to discern between choices and to see the connections between items. This is often thought of as the ability to know what will happen if you do this or if you do that or this happened because someone did this or someone did that. Understanding is a powerful tool because it so strongly informs wise choices. If you know what the outcome will be of your choices, then they will be easier to make.
I have watched so many people do what seemed right to them only to see disastrous consequences flow from that decision because they did not have understanding. I have also watched as people kept making the selfish or impulsive decision in their life and knowing that they always get destruction in their family or their business but hoping this time that the outcome will be different. It is like playing chess – you put your hand on the piece and hope to predict all the things that will happen if you make that move. So understanding means that you must look at all the ramifications if you take various actions. You must have a clear-eyed view and not be colored by the choice you want to make. If the choice you want to make will be destructive to you, your family, or God's honor, then true understanding will lead you away from that choice no matter how tempting it appears.
Every week and every day we face these kinds of choices. Be prepared and gain understanding so that you can truly have wisdom and be blessed.