Proverbs__3

Scripture

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
 

Observation

King Solomon continues the proverbs by speaking about wisdom and how it applies to a person’s well-being. In this section though, he contends that our own well-being is reliant on giving honor where it is due. He extends this by urging people to act in love, so that they can then grow in wisdom.
 

Understanding

Gratitude leads to growth in wisdom.

I pride myself on being a student. It’s something that I use to define myself in everyday life just because I love learning so much. I love the idea that “knowledge is power” because I honestly think that it is, and with knowledge is this huge responsibility to impart it to others. Something that I recently discovered (that kind of crushed me) is that knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing. I figured if I was smart and had information I would impress upon people the desire to learn as well. However, something that Solomon knows really well and is trying to impress on people here, is that knowledge and wisdom are not equivalent. Knowledge is useless without the wisdom to yield it. A better way to explain this idea would probably be from my favorite book To Kill a Mockingbird: “Folks don’t like to have someone around knowing more than they do, it aggravates them. You’re not going to change anyone by talking right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves…”

I guess what I’m trying to get at, is that in order to share your knowledge and understanding with people, you have to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. If I simply start by telling all I know it threatens people and pushes them away from me. I’m still trying to learn this lesson, and believe me when I say that I have experienced this many times in my twenty years on this planet. Knowing this and applying this, Solomon argues, is the first step in becoming wise. So don’t withhold good, withhold what you may know. Calpurnia said it best, “they’ve got to want to learn themselves,” but sometimes just investing in them pushes them towards wanting to learn and listen to what you have to say. This is the secret ingredient to wisdom beyond understanding: appreciating people for who God created them to be. I once heard a wise old guy say that “good deeds leads good will that leads to the Good News.”
 

Life Application

Let’s be a people who are all about good things! Don’t withhold gratitude when it is due, especially because it is the first step in attaining wisdom. Also because Solomon ends this chapter by saying:

The wise inherit honor, but fools only get shame.

Think about what you are thankful for, if it is a person, let them know! Even if it isn’t a person share what you are thankful for with others, and maybe it will lead to them thinking about they are grateful for and so on. And from there your knowledge has done the amazing and turned into wisdom for others.

-Allison Khan