Category Archives: Seeking Wisdom – Proverbs Study

Seeking Wisdom: Proverbs 3:3 – An Eifel Tower On My Back

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck,

write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Proverbs 3:3

A couple of years ago my wife ran the Chicago Marathon.  It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever watched in my life and not just the race itself.  For MONTHS Cherie trained for this one day.   She would get up early in the morning to run anywhere from 3 – 20 miles depending on the training schedule, but she couldn’t have done it without her good friend Connie.   I was so impressed with how hard she trained and the mental focus she had to keep going.

When race day arrived Cherie and my brother Brad took off when the gun sounded. In my anal retentive fashion I had figured out 3 specific spots that I should be able to see them along the route and had used their pace time as the gauge for when to be at each one.

Tragically both my strategy and the alert system the race used to tell the pace of the runners failed miserably.   I only saw my brother once and I didn’t even see Cherie!  I was so upset.  But as I watched the runners go by dying in the heat, I noticed a man running with a 9-10 foot model of the Eifel Tower on his BACK.  Yes a grown man, running in near 90-degree heat, with a miniature monument on his back.

Why?  Who knows…he’s an idiot.

I mean it’s hard enough to run a marathon in perfect conditions with all the right running gear, but to add the weight of a Tower to the challenge is absolutely insane.  I’m pretty sure this is not one of the training techniques Nike recommends to its runners.   A marathon is hard enough on its own; it doesn’t need our help to make it more difficult.

I believe we do the same thing to life.

We tend to forget that plain old vanilla flavored life is difficult all by itself.  It doesn’t need our help to make it more complicated.  Yet, somehow we decide to strap on brick after brick of stress, worry, anxiety, laziness, and frustration to to our backs.  With all this extra baggage it’s no wonder love and faithfulness are a fading!  Who wants to add one more thing to their life?

But Solomon tells us something different.   In Proverbs 3:3 we read we should bind love and faithfulness around our neck and writing them on our hearts to keep track of them.   I don’t know about you, but when I first read that it sounded heavy.  The words “bind”, “never”, and “write” seemed to jump out at me as a convicting finger being pointed at me by God.  But the more I thought about it, I realized this Scripture is very freeing.

Solomon is saying that love and faithfulness should be a part of our normal training routine.  They are so important to our life that we should find a way to attach them to our very soul.  Not so we feel guilty or weighed down because of them, but so that we can be free.

Regardless of what the world says, love and faithfulness are not the burdens in our life.   In fact if we stop carrying these on our backs and start tattooing them on our souls, we can run faster, we can adjust quicker; we live stronger not having to account for balancing love and faithfulness in our lives because they are always with us.

When this happens, love and faithfulness become part of our normal operating system and the other things that weigh us down don’t make sense to hang onto.  We begin to rid ourselves of the self-inflicted bricks in our lives and live differently.

We stand tall living with love and faithfulness as our support and not our Eifel Towers weighing us down.

So make an appointment to the local tattoo shop and stop carrying Love and Faithfulness on your back and get them tattooed on your heart.

It will leave your hands free for so much more that God has in store for you on this race called Life.


Seeking Wisdom: Proverbs 2:2 – Searching For Understanding

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ears to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. ”

Proverbs 2:1-5

If you ever travel to a foreign country (no, Canada does not count :) ) it doesn’t take long to realize you are “not in Kansas anymore.”  For me it happens when I get to the baggage claim area in the airport.  As you wait for your bag and become hypnotized by the passing conveyor belt you start to hear a rumble of voices as people greet loved ones and talk to colleagues.  Except this time you have no idea what they are saying and you feel like you are caught in a beehive of activity with no stinger to defend yourself.

It only gets worse as you interact in the cities or even get something to eat!  Fortunately for us the rest of the world is more educated than we are in the US and learn more than one language.  However, since English is their second language you have to listen so closely and lean into every word the servers or employees are saying just to survive.  If you don’t purposefully seek understanding in those moments of conversation you will be lost.

Searching for wisdom is a lot like that.  When you desire to know the will of God and are truly seeking wisdom in your life you have to lean in a bit more to understand it.  You have to be willing to search for understanding if you ever want to achieve it.

Solomon gives us very practically wisdom when seeking to understand God in our life, and we see it in verses two and three.  He says:

  1. Turning your ears to wisdom – We must start by turning our attention, our ears, to the voice of God and not the voice of the world.  The voice of God needs to perk our ears like a whistle to a dog.  It has to cut through the noise and affect our souls to draw our interest from the mass amounts of noise to the still small voice of God.
  2. Apply your heart – Saying you want wisdom and aggressively searching for wisdom are two different things.  Something becomes important to you when your heart begins to ache for it.  Only when the heart and soul of a person are starving for Truth do we change.
  3. Call out for insight and cry aloud – Solomon is saying don’t sit back and wait for wisdom to come to you through osmosis.  You need to get aggressive, you need to call out for it, you need to get in your Bible, get in a Small Group, go to church, serve on a serving team, and, and, and.  If you want something bad enough you do all that you can to achieve it so don’t wait.

Be willing to search and seek wisdom with passion and veracity.  Change your prayer life to one of boldness and not just traveling mercies.  Switch your Bible reading to wisdom mining and not loop hole diving.  Desire an honest relationship with God and not a bumper sticker, wristband, window cling, t-shirt, or necklace only friendship.

As you begin the hard work of searching for wisdom, let God start to pierce through the noise in your world.


Seeing Wisdoms: Proverbs 1:1 – Been There Done That

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.”

Proverbs 1:1

When I played baseball I was constantly working on my baseball swing.  I was the first person to show up to practice and the last one to leave almost every day.  There was nothing I wanted more than to become a better hitter.  So I worked extremely hard at it.

One of the key things I did when working on my swing was listen to my coaches.  Now, I had some great coaches and I had some coaches that were terrible.  What made the difference between a great and a terrible coach was usually one thing.


The coaches I leaned in and listened closest to were the ones that had ACTUALLY PLAYED BASEBALL and played it at a high level.  These were the men that I could look in their eyes, listen to their stories, and look at their statistics and know they knew what they were talking about.

I let all the 3rd string, cut by my Jr. High JV team, played more video games than real games, and never won anything higher than a participation ribbon instruction go in one ear and out the other.   These coaches may know OF baseball, but that didn’t know ABOUT baseball.

Our journey through Proverbs begins with establishing whom we are listening to.

The writer of much of Proverbs is King Solomon. The son of King David, Solomon was considered one of the richest most successful men in all of history with his wealth nearing the trillion-dollar mark by our modern standards.

However, even more important to his credibility was his decision making.  In 1 Kings 3:5 we read that “At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”  You see before all of his surmounting wealth and power Solomon was given a chance to ask God for ANYTHING.  Maybe I didn’t make myself clear, God said ask for ANYTHING and I will give it to you.

Solomon fought the urge for wealth or success or power and chose instead something totally different.  Here are his words:

Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” – 1 Kings 3:8-9

Given the opportunity to ask God for anything Solomon chose wisdom and in doing so God found favor with him.  So when we read in Proverbs 1:1 that these are “proverbs of Solomon” we should find great confidence knowing that these are wise words given from God to Solomon.  This is truly someone that has “been there done that.”

I want us to find power in the Word of God.  I want us to find confidence in the Word of God.  I want us to find peace in the Word of God.  I want us to find wisdom in the Word of God.

We only find these things when we stop approaching the Bible as a self-help book.  We must stop looking for it to make us feel better or to find a loophole to keep sleeping with our girlfriend.

Pursuing wisdom through Scripture means we let it speak to us not us speak to It.

We need to lean into the inspired authors and let the words of God change our lives and in the process we become wise.  Solomon chose wisdom over the fleeting pleasures of money and success.  Those things came, but only as a result of choosing wisdom first.

You and I would be wise to do the same.


Seeking Wisdom: Looking Beyond Our Comfort Zone

Isn’t it funny who we listen to?

If you really sit back and think about it, the people we respect, take advice from, and even surround ourselves with tell us a lot about who we are as people.  They usually look like us, dress like us, hobby like us, and live much of their lives like us.

In most cases this is AWESOME.  We all desperately need that connection with one another.  We need people we can relate to and can live life amongst.  This is completely God’s plan.

But, there is a problem…

If we are surrounded by people like us, then when we are going through troubles or need direction we will most likely hear the things we would normally tell ourselves.  The voice of wisdom and reason we receive will probably be exactly what we WANT to hear, not what we NEED to hear.

So what’s the solution?

Proverbs 9:6 says “Leave you simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

The solution is to surround yourself with Godly men and women who may not exactly look like you, think like you, or live life like you.  It means leaving our simple, comfortable ways of thinking behind to search for a greater understanding.  By diversifying where we gain our knowledge from and being open when we receive guidance, we will expand our portfolio of wisdom to new levels.

However, the hard part will be what you do with what you hear.

Will you embrace this new outlook with open arms or will you put your fingers in your ears until your “real friends” come back?

Will you believe that truth can come in all shapes and sizes or will you keep your worldview so small that you can easily put it in your pocket never letting it get too big?

I’m going to encourage you to embrace wisdom outside of your comfort zone in this next series of blogs.  I’m asking you and I to listen to the words of God spoken through the writers of Proverbs.

Fight the urge to think of these as just poetic lines meant for fortune cookies.  Consider them with more weight and more openness to allow these inspired writers words to change you.

I’d encourage you to stick with me on this journey in search of wisdom beyond our comfort zones.  Try to memorize the verses we look at and commit them to your spirit in a meaningful way.  I know that I’m hoping to see God penetrate some calloused areas in my character and spirit and fill those wounds with His love and direction.

Join me over then next few weeks as we look to Seek Wisdom through this journey through Proverbs.