Thursday, August 19, 2021

Wisdom, Prudence, Counsel, and Sound Judgment--Quite a Package

 Read Proverbs 8

Solomon says let’s do a cost-benefit analysis.  OK, let’s talk about orienteering.  We will get to that later.

What should you be willing to pay for wisdom?  Everything.

What do you get in return?

Wisdom—that one was obvious. But Solomon broadens the concept of wisdom to include prudence.  The original word was ormah. In basic terms it means good sense but it also means crafty.

Hold your holy horses.  Were we not just warned about the crafty woman with evil intentions?

Yes.  But you can employ craftiness with godly intent.  Wisdom equips you to match wits with those who oppose you.   You can see the traps that are set more clearly. 

Long ago and far away I went to the Karass Negotiating seminar where I learned over a dozen negotiation techniques, most of them manipulative.  Near the end of the seminar, the instructor said that we should never use these techniques.  Only the win-win works well in the long term.

Then why learn the techniques?  So that you have eyes to see when someone is using them against you.

How about Prudence in its modern application?  What is prudence?  It comes from the Latin providentia meaning seeing ahead.  It’s foresight.  It’s sagacity.  What is sagacity?

Keen foresight.  Prudence enables us to take careful steps because we see what lies ahead.  We have already been warned about rushing into evil.  Now we are counseled on the virtue of carefully directed steps.

Wisdom gives us the skills to see and bypass the traps and take the best steps.

Knowledge—that’s awareness, understanding, and practical value.  In Solomon’s earlier proverb, knowledge preceded wisdom.

Discretion. It’s the ability to act on one’s own authority and judgment.  It can lead to efficacy.  Efficacy is the power to effect desired change.

What else?

Sound counsel and judgment.


Legitimate power.



Those are all good things, but when you seek wisdom, you also receive disdain for:




We are charged to love those who seek wisdom, for they are surely seeking God and his ways.

We are promised that if we truly seek wisdom, we will find it.  God is not playing games with us.  He wants us to both seek and find wisdom.

Has anyone ever done orienteering?  It’s competitive land navigation.  The best competitions that I ran involved teams.  Each team reported to a check-in station at a given time.  Their clock started running.  They looked at a map with multiple checkpoints, usually more than most teams could get in the allotted time.

The team leader copied the points, developed a plan, and then went in search of these points on the ground.  Each point had a marker of some sorts that was unique to that point.  Each checkpoint was given a different value—more points for those checkpoints that were hard to find or in difficult terrain.

Teams were usually spaced 5 minutes apart and times were kept for each team.  If two or more teams tied by points, the one that took the least time became the winner.

There was only one scorecard per team and it had to go to each checkpoint to get its unique mark.  Team members could scout ahead but there was only one card.

The team had to use its discretion, judgment, understanding of land navigation and the terrain itself, and the team leader had to exercise sound leadership.  His decisions might include input from many, but when he made the decision, everyone sprang into action.

Orienteering allowed team members to practice wisdom.  They took what they knew, the counsel of others, envisioned what was ahead and how they would get there, and did what they needed to do to achieve the desired results.

Besides learning how to navigate better, this was fun and developed wisdom and leadership.

God has already done the front-end analysis.  He has given you a map and compass. Solomon expounded upon the benefits to seeking wisdom.  The real work is already done.  Seek wisdom.

Seek wisdom.



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