“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold…Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:13-14; 16-17 (ESV)
The writer of Proverbs here uncovers additional benefits of wisdom. First we are told that those who find wisdom will be blessed. The original word translated as blessed essentially means happiness. It is the positive emotion that brings a smile to our face.
But the writer goes on to make a striking claim…that it is better to gain wisdom than silver or gold. We can accept that wisdom will bring happiness, but the claim that gaining wisdom is better than gaining silver or gold is not something we generally believe. Our lives betray us because silver and gold are what we really work for.
Deep down inside, we believe money brings happiness.
Proverbs tells us wisdom brings happiness.
Proverbs tells us wisdom brings profit and gain.
We actually receive something as we grow in wisdom…and that gain is better than silver or gold.
But what truly could be better than silver or gold?
The answer is found when we examine what is meant by quality of life.
Everyone wants a good quality of life, but that phrase means different things to different people. Silver and gold (money) will add to the quality of our external lives by providing for our material cares and needs. We can purchase clothes, cars, homes and toys and thus meet our external physical needs.
But silver and gold do nothing for improving the quality of our interior life.
Our interior life is how we feel.
Our exterior life is how we appear.
Silver and gold make us appear better.
Wisdom makes us feel better.
The writer of Proverbs adds that the ways of wisdom are pleasantness and her paths are peace…and finally…wisdom brings long life to enjoy them.
Maybe there are some things better than silver and gold…
Prayer: Lord, help me to see the benefits of wisdom so that I may pursue it!