How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
Proverbs 16:16 (NRSV)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit with a group of pastors, a couple retired and others who are still journeying through the pastoral ministry. One of the lessons that I gleaned over the years in those spaces is to be the sponge, meaning soak all that you can from those who have labored before. I sat amongst pastors with over 100 years of combined experience. One of the greatest plights in my estimation of being young is not sitting down and taking advantage of those wisdom bearers before they transition from down here. I remember posing this question as an icebreaker: “if you could have a conversation with anyone no longer alive who would it be? The resounding response was from a family member. What happens when we squander impactful opportunities of gaining wisdom?
Our text raises this interesting thought, how much better to get wisdom than gold! Wisdom according to the Oxford dictionary is defined as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. Solomon the writer places a contrast between wisdom and gold, something that lasts versus something that can be spent swiftly, something that is given versus something that requires work. We live in a world that values grinding and always securing the bag, but we ignore moments that will provide understanding and insight. I hear, you don’t understand how my schedule is setup, I don’t have time to just sit around talking. I understand the importance of every moment not being wasted but I chose to also value the moments that I can never get back. To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver, understanding can take you places silver will never afford you. All I’m trying to say is weigh the cost of wisdom and discover how much you gain. Ask yourself the question, are you setting yourself to secure temporary monetary enhancements or lifetime knowledge?
Let me hear you, what wisdom bearers can you glean from? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from the wisdom bearers in your life? How can we find more ways to encounter these wisdom moments?