There’s a verse in Proverbs that continues to catch my attention that I didn’t really notice much before:
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:20-22
Lavoisier often refers to this verse when he speaks about wisdom. The book of Proverbs is his personal favorite and because of that, it made me pay attention. It can be so easy to pass over something like this without realizing the importance of it.
The book of Proverbs is a book filled with wisdom and wise sayings, and it also personifies wisdom specifically. So when you read these verses, you see the importance and origin of wisdom. When this verse says that wisdom is crying aloud, it speaks to how accessible wisdom is to all of us. It literally surrounds us on a daily basis and reverberates loudly, to the point that it is a witness against us when we reject it. You may ask yourself, “Why would we reject wisdom when it is so accessible?” We have a natural tendency to reject wisdom because of the weight of responsibility that comes with it.
To apply the wisdom that is shouting out at us requires us to admit that we were walking as fools in the first place; and to submit to it daily. I can give the obvious examples of the commandments God calls us to abide in, but I can speak of other examples that affect me personally. When it comes to “reclaiming my time,” I know the wisdom in using my time wisely, and making direct plans, yet it’s one of the hardest things for me to do for some reason.
I’ve seen many examples of the success that comes with great time management in the lives of others, and even saw glimpses of it when I wrote my own plans down here and there, but putting it into constant practice has been hard. There are other ways that wisdom constantly speaks to us as well. There is wisdom concerning money, relationships, what we eat and listen to, our walk with the Lord, and so much more.
As much as wisdom cries out, we find ways to ignore it, tone it down, or resist it by seeing it as foolish or judgemental. Yet, once we apply this wisdom, we are able to grow and so much changes. We can avoid the consequences of foolish decisions and be a blessing. The quality of wisdom is that it doesn’t condemn or demean you, but it does challenge you. It does call you to maintain a deeper level of responsibility, which makes you stand out.
I love how the verse says that wisdom cries out in the markets, because that shows me that its voice is in places we wouldn’t expect. For example, there are times you will gain wisdom and insight from someone who isn’t a believer, and it shouldn’t be diminished because of it. It doesn’t mean you uncritically take in everything people say, but it does mean that you manage your expectations and sensitivity of others around you.
Last but not least, remember the origin of wisdom is God Himself. Jesus is called the wisdom of God in 1 Corinthians:
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24
Look at how He spoke to the crowds and was accessible to all, yet the weight of responsibility when hearing Him was heavy. Therefore, many rejected Him, and missed out. Don’t miss out on wisdom, it is available to us all, yet it will cause us to face the weight of it’s responsibility.