Four Stages of Wisdom

This week I have spoken to people who need wisdom – in relationships, marriage, business, health, money, responding to Facebook messages…

Some needed wisdom advising those who need wisdom.

Yesterday I was reading ‘Proverbs’. It suggested four stages of wisdom…

  1. Listen

You have to listen to wisdom

Innocent Liesl looks to Rolfe:

‘Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken

I need someone older and wiser
Telling me what to do
You are seventeen going on eighteen
I’ll, depend, on you.’

  • Learn

Learning to drive, play chess or swim requires active listening that is then put into practice.

Charles Spurgeon said:

‘Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great as the knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.’

  • Live

The friend building a model railway or the child learning the violin lives with the challenge to practice, develop and improve. There is a dedication, determination, tenacity and commitment in time and money,

Living with wisdom is the humility of realising that you haven’t yet made it. It is the dissatisfaction of staying where you. It is wrestling with the difficult and uncertain.

  • Love

A hobby becomes a passion that becomes part of the identity. The football fan or the young mother has one supreme focus to their lives.

Solomon’s wisdom was to be loved and lived with in a permanent relationship. It is the hopeless devotion of young love and the dedication of mature love.

To love wisdom is to live with it so that it becomes part of you.


Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein (Stage show 1959, Film 1965)

Musings based around Proverbs 4:1-6

My experience of wise people is that they don’t realise that they are wise. Ray and Ted (mentioned last week) were two wise men – but they would not see it or admit to it.

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