What Does “Wisdom That Bestows Well-Being” Look Like?

The heading for chapter 3 of the Book of Proverbs is revealing: “Wisdom Bestows Well-Being.” What does that wisdom that bestows well-being look like? How does it affect our well-being?

The first insight we get from the chapter is that the wisdom is couched in God’s commandments. In learning from them, making them the habits of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls, we will prolong our lives, not just here on earth, but eternally. Lives founded in God’s commandments will experience and promote a sense of peace in everything they say and do. (verses 1-2)

The virtues of God’s wisdom are love and faithfulness. These should be the virtues that all others see in us. We out to “write them on the tablet of our heart,” so that they become, through much practice, the signs of our deepest character. In developing these virtues we will “win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (verses 3-4)

If we learn to always trust in God with all of our heart, mind, body and soul, and depend on it in all things; if we learn to humbly bend our wills to that of God, all of our endeavors will be profitable. He will never fail with such a one. He will never fail to make all of his or her paths straight and true. (verses 5-6)

Humility ought to be our greatest virtue. It is pride that claims to be wise in its own eyes. And as we know from literature and Sacred Scripture, Pride always goes before a fall. In humility, then, we do not see ourselves as wise, and when we see evil, we avoid it for the good of our souls and for the good of others. It is this that brings us health in body and nourishment to the “bones” of our souls. (verses 7-8)

These, of course, are only the opening verses of chapter 3 in the Book of Proverbs. In our prayers throughout this day, let us meditate on the wisdom of God that is revealed just in this one chapter. It will certainly bestow well-being on us.

Lord, help us to learn from your wisdom and to carry it out in all of our thoughts, words, and deeds. Help us to develop the habits of virtuous character in our daily lives so that we can be good examples of your peace and faithfulness to our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. We ask this in your name, Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.