Rubbing Shoulders with Wisdom

They’re not rocket science, but they can be life changing. So many of them are just common sense but, for those who are mindful of them, their impact is anything but run-of-the-mill. I’m talking about Solomon’s proverbs. His quick snappers giving instruction for skillful living. His pithy maxims which, if heeded, have a lifelong effect.

The Hebrew root for the word “proverb” apparently has the idea of ruling, reigning, or having dominion. Proverbs then are words fit for directing our lives. Exhortations which are valuable for influencing our walk and our talk. Counsel worth submitting to.

And this morning I’m chewing on one of Solomon’s simple, yet far-reaching sayings. And I’m realizing how important it is to rub shoulders with Wisdom.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

(Proverbs 13:20 ESV)

Walk with the wise and become wise. Associate with wisdom and you’ll pickup up wisdom. Hang out with people who know a thing or two about a life well lived and don’t be surprised when you start picking up what they are laying down. Rub shoulders with those who fear the LORD and watch what rubs off on you.

That’s why “doing coffee” is such an important part of my routine (and the routines of many I call friends). Finding a place to talk about life . . . the life here and now and the one to come . . . the life full of trials and hardships and the abundant life. To engage in spiritual discussion. To share what we’ve been seeing in the Word. To talk of matters too lofty for our full comprehension. To encourage one another to keep on keepin’ on. Hanging out with godly people has a way of their godliness rubbing off on me.

Not rocket science . . . but potentially life changing. Common sense? Yup. But integral to shaping a supernatural reality.

But here’s what I’ve really been chewing on this morning . . .

Especially in the early chapters of Proverbs, I see so often wisdom as a type of Christ. I hear Jesus crying aloud in the streets and raising His voice in the market. The Son of God saying, “Blessed is the one who finds Me.” The Christ claiming that to have Him is better than silver and of far more profit than gold. The Lord of creation who beckons people to Himself as “a tree of life for those who lay hold of her.”

And so, if Christ is Wisdom, then whoever walks with the Wise becomes wise. Whoever hangs with Jesus eventually becomes like Jesus. Whoever engages the living Christ, through His revealed Word and through Spirit-mediated prayer, will have the mind of Christ. To have Christ rub off on me, I must rub shoulders with Christ.

That’s what Paul labored for concerning his children in the faith, that Christ would be formed in them (Gal. 4:19). That’s why he would say, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1Cor. 11:1). In essence he too is saying, Rub shoulders with Wisdom so that Wisdom might rub off on you.

Child of God, He who foreknew you also predestined you to “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). “He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son” (MSG). From the beginning God determined to form His Son in you as you, by His grace and power, determined to walk with His Son. So, it’s kind of important that we engage with the risen Christ on a daily basis. It needs to be a priority to walk with Him if we want to be like Him.

Not rocket science, but life changing!

O that Wisdom might rub off on us as we rub shoulders with Wisdom.

By His grace. For His glory.

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