“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1–4). The insistent plea of wisdom continues on into chapter three of Proverbs. What important truths are included in this section?
We are reminded of our propensity to forget what we have learned. At first, we get all excited over a newly-learned facet of godly wisdom. We may even memorize a verse or two and find a way to apply what we have learned to our lives. This is very commendable. But as time wears on, we get distracted. Urgent matters tend to begin crowding out more important matters. And, before we know it, we have forgotten what we have learned. Oh, we may be able to recall the principle, but we have “forgotten” in the sense that we no longer practice the principle.
We are encouraged to find ways to counteract our amnesia. The key is to make wisdom a matter of the heart and not merely the of the mind. What’s the difference? Wisdom that is only mind deep can become just a collection of facts or an academic exercise. Wisdom that is heart deep is different. Wisdom written on our hearts takes the facts and embodies them. It finds ways to practice the principle. It’s good to know about wisdom but it must go deeper if we are to remember it and enjoy its greatest benefits.
What benefits? Generally speaking, when we practice godly wisdom, we endeavor to avoid habits or activities that unnecessarily shorten our lives. We live in ways that promote peace within ourselves and with others. We cultivate respect in our relationship with God and with those around us. Unwise living undermines all of these efforts. Unwise living endangers life, promotes strife, and breeds disrespect.
God loves you!