“A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.”
One of the most humbling things that can happen to a person is when someone comes to them for advice on how to make it through a situation they are experiencing. Many times in my life I have found myself going to an individual to ask their advice to help me with a situation in my life. The reason I go to that individual is because I believe they have the wisdom to help me. The verse above says, “A man shall be commended according to his wisdom…” This verse is not only teaching the importance of wisdom, but it is teaching how wisdom is the key to gaining the respect of others. Let me share with you several lessons this verse is teaching about wisdom.
First, wisdom is not knowledge. Certainly, there is knowledge in wisdom, but just because someone has intellect doesn’t mean they have wisdom. If I had to choose between a person who has knowledge and intellect or a person of wisdom, I would choose the person of wisdom every time. Wisdom is that ability to know how to act in every circumstance. A college education doesn’t mean you know how to deal with life’s circumstances. There is nothing wrong with gaining knowledge, but you should desire the wisdom you need to use that knowledge properly.
Second, wisdom is willing to hear and see the truth. Verse 22 says, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD…” A wise person is willing to look at circumstances through the prism of truth. An unwise person never listens to truth that is negative about their organization. You will never be able to correct the wrong if you are not capable of hearing where you are wrong. Wise people will listen to truth even when it isn’t flattering about them or the organization they represent.
Third, wisdom understands it doesn’t know everything. Verse 15 says, “…he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” There is no person who knows everything; therefore, you would be wise to let others who do know what you don’t know to help you to make decisions in the areas where you lack knowledge. The greatest leader is the leader who is willing to let others who know more than them in certain areas to help them in making decisions in those areas. Only by pride will wisdom be covered. Don’t let your pride rob you from hearkening to the counsel of those who know what you don’t know.
Fourth, wisdom isn’t self-driven. Verse 9 shows the importance of not seeking honor for yourself. One thing you will notice about wise people is that they don’t make decisions based on how it benefits them, but they base their decisions on how it will affect everyone. You will never be a wise person when you are only concerned with yourself. You must die to yourself if you want the wisdom to know how to act in every circumstance.
What is the benefit of wisdom? The verse above says that a man is “commended according to his wisdom.” The word “commended” comes from the word “commend.” To commend means to entrust or to commit to the care of someone. In other words, wisdom allows you to be a better leader. People will more readily commit their trust to follow you if you become a person of wisdom. You will only gain the trust of your followers when they can see that you are capable of making wise decisions.