“I [wisdom] love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me” (Proverbs 8:17).
IF IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEEK GOD DILIGENTLY, AS WE HAVE ARGUED, IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO SEEK THE WISDOM THAT IS NECESSARY TO KNOW HIM. The path that leads to God is not found by the foolish, but rather by those who are willing to learn. God is a God of truth (Deuteronomy 32:4). He is “light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Thus our approach to God must be based on reality, soundness of judgment, and the absence of illusion.
But like the seeking of God Himself, the seeking of wisdom is a matter of choice and conscious activity. We don’t find ourselves growing wise simply by default. Most of life’s basic experiences come to all people, more or less equally. But not all become wise, and the reason is rather simple: it is by the thoughtful interaction with our experiences that we grow wise. Without a commitment to learn what we should, the experiences that could teach us wisdom simply wash over us with no lasting effect. “Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him” (Proverbs 27:22).
Determining to seek wisdom, of course, requires that we appreciate the value of what we seek. And while many people pay lip service to wisdom’s value, not many value it enough to go ahead and seek it diligently. We need to wrestle with our consciences and ask whether we actually believe what Solomon said about the worth of wisdom: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her” (Proverbs 8:11).
But finally, it is important for us to recognize God as the ultimate source of wisdom. In a secular culture that extols the unaided efforts of our own understanding, it goes against the popular grain to defer to the wisdom of our Creator. But that is precisely what we must do if we are to grow wise in any lasting sense. Our lives must be based on something like Jude’s doxology: “To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 25).
“No man ever became wise by chance” (Seneca).