Proverbs 2:10 "When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul..."
The first half of this chapter details the process involved with getting wisdom while the second half of the chapter details the protection that comes with getting wisdom. Before we look at what wisdom protects us from, let us first notice where, in the soul of man, wisdom’s war room is located. Solomon identifies that place as the HEART of man, not the head of man. The casual reader may see this as a minor detail but for the serious seeker, this is a key piece of information.
Certainly, wisdom occupies the mind but unless it enters the heart, it will bring little benefit to the soul it visits. The human HEART is the seat of affection; it is the place of feeling. The Bible addresses the heart so often and so intensely because the heart is typically the swing vote of the soul. The mind is responsible to gather all of the data – all of the facts, the details, the information, the knowledge. On any given issue, the mind acts as both prosecutor and defense attorney, building the case for and against a decision. The mind collects the information regarding the pros and cons, regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each and every decision. Once the information is gathered, the mind processes the information thoroughly and impressively. Like a computer, it functions at a high rate but with little to no emotion, offering mental recommendations to daily choices. Like a high court, our minds offer persuasive arguments on both sides of the debate. This is where the heart comes in. Regardless of the mental debate, it is almost always the heart that provides the most compelling argument. Unlike the mind, the heart speaks with passion and with intense emotion. For this reason, the heart is almost always the swing vote. This is precisely why we go with our “gut” on important decisions because it is the organ below our head, not the one in our head, that has the greatest influence on these decisions.
While the head and heart are the two most important factors in our life-choices, the HEART is without question the greater influence. We listen to our heart – we follow our heart, not our head. The physical body reflects this spiritual reality. It is the heart, not the head that determines our health. A healthy mind is important but a healthy heart is more important. As long as the heart is healthy, a person can live with dementia or Alzheimer’s for many years. On the contrary, a person with a perfectly healthy mind cannot survive a massive heart attack. Aside from obvious brain damage, it is the heart, not the mind that dictates how far a person can run or how much a person can walk. It is the heart, not the head that dictates blood flow and the life-saving qualities of the blood. It is the heart, not the head, that gives a body its beat. Both organs have massive influence on the rest of the body but an unhealthy heart has the much greater impact on how we feel and on how long we live.
Because the HEART of man is the swing vote of life-choices, wisdom must find its way there to be effective. If it never gets past the mind, it will have little impact on our lives. In the mind, wisdom will contribute to decisions but it will often be overruled by the passionate argument of the heart. Wisdom must make its way to the heart and it does that when we have an affection for it. If we are casual or apathetic towards wisdom, it will never occupy our hearts. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus Christ said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” We only allow those things we feel affection for in our hearts. We only allow those things we love into our hearts. This is exactly why Solomon told his son earlier in the chapter to “seek her as silver and search for her as for hid treasures.” Wisdom enters the heart only when it is treasured – when it is longed for – when it is desperately desired – when it is loved.
Herein lies the great challenge of every parent and pastor. Parents can offer wisdom to their sons and daughters but if their children don’t want it, it will only be words stored in the mind. Wisdom in the mind offers very little benefit. Pastors can offer wisdom to their sheep and lambs but if their flocks don’t want it, it will only be words stored in the mind. Wisdom in the mind offers very little benefit. Every schoolteacher knows that a love for the subject being taught needs to be cultivated if there is to be any real benefit from the teaching. Parents and pastors alike must work harder at cultivating a love for wisdom than they do for a listening ear for wisdom. Anyone can lecture. Anyone can teach. Anyone can speak words of wisdom. It takes a very special parent who can cultivate a love for wisdom. It takes a very special pastor who can cultivate a passionate desire for wisdom. This needs to be the ultimate goal of every father and mother. This needs to be the ultimate goal of every pastor and minister.
Parents, we can force wisdom into the head but we can’t force wisdom into the heart. If wisdom doesn’t enter the hearts of our sons, then their swing-votes will foolish votes. If wisdom doesn’t enter the hearts of our daughters, then the most compelling vote of their choices will be foolish votes. We must do everything in our might to cultivate a love for wisdom and there is no greater way to do that than by showing our children how attractive she is by putting her on display in our lives on a consistent basis. After all, how can a father or mother cultivate a passion for wisdom in their children if they lack that passion themselves?
Let us offer the same prayer that Moses offered in Psalm 90:12 when he said, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our HEARTS unto wisdom.”