Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:17
"Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge"
What Solomon wants us to see is that wisdom and knowledge are available to everybody, but they will not appear until we are really interested in obtaining them. He tells us that we really have to incline our ear – like bending over to hear the whispered comments of God. Too often we think that what we think is wisdom but it often isn’t. What we think is the result of habits of the past and comments from friends and relatives that have stuck with us and our own personal experiences.
If we are going to really acquire wisdom, we have to seek the solution to our problem that is a triple-win. How does God win, others win, and I win? It is easy to see how we win. It is even easy to see how others win, but it is much more difficult to see how all three parties to our life win.
The other statement that Solomon makes is about knowledge. He says that we have to apply our minds to knowledge. What is true does not always come with an ease of absorption. The word for knowledgehere means information and skill. It may be focused on skill. The issue seems to be that at times the only way to have a situation work out in a wise way is for us to obtain a new skill that we don’t at that time have. We have to apply our mind significantly to this new approach and this new way of acting in a situation where we thought we knew how to act.