“Buy—and do not sell—truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23 CSB
I recently had the privilege of speaking at a high school graduation party. As I prepared the message, I came across Proverbs 23:23. It seemed appropriate to talk about buying truth and wisdom, because in college, you have to pay for your education. Yet, we live in a day and age where truth and wisdom can be elusive, even in college. This verse directs us to reflect on four key principles: truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
Truth: fake news abound on the TV and internet. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In order to arrive at the truth, we have to filter information coming in through the lens of Jesus.
Wisdom: with the internet, we can access a limitless supply of knowledge and facts, but we are not any wiser for it. In Proverbs 1:7, the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” True wisdom comes from a correct understanding of our place in the world in relation to God.
Instruction: we can fill our head with ideas and theories, but they are useless if we cannot apply them. Oftentimes, the best instruction comes from those who do not have a teaching degree. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8).
Understanding: we are seeing protests and unrest in our cities because people do not understand each other. “The evil do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand everything” (Proverbs 28:5). As we seek justice for our world, let us start by seeking God.
Father God, teach us your ways. Reveal to us your truth. Give us wisdom to live our lives in peace. Instruct us how to love and care for others. Help us to understand those who are different from us. Amen.