Words of Wisdom: Choose the Better Investment: Wisdom or Wealth? Ecclesiastes 7:11-14
Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, and an advantage to those who see the sun. For wisdom is protection as money is protection, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner. Consider the work of God; for who can straighten out what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: without question, God has made the one as well as the other, so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him. Eccl 7:11-14 (HCSB)
What better person than Solomon to consider the truth about the value of wisdom versus wealth, because God blessed him with both. However, which of the two did he find more valuable and enduring? Which of the two once obtained cannot be taken away? Which has only increasing value and does not fluctuate unless not used properly by the owner?
It seems clear that after all the wealth that Solomon was blessed by, during his reign as King of Israel, he found all the treasures of the world could not bring happiness and contentment. Wealth consumes a person and can never satisfy what is inside of a man. Lust for power, prestige and position may be bought with gold and silver, but cannot satisfy the desires of man. Likewise, wealth is the envy of others and draws the thief and robber in the night to steal what you claim to be yours. And despite our best efforts to protect out things, there is one thief that no one can stop from scooping away everything we hold dear from our grasp: Death is that one unstoppable threat! What wealth exists beyond the grave? Someone else will take possession of what was yours while you were alive.
However, consider wisdom. Wisdom continues to grow as one applies it and experience nurtures the fruit to blossom as one walks through life in wisdom. Yet where does it begin? It begins as a gift from God, the source of all wisdom. It is the one investment man can make with only the price of time and faith. If we will only seek God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word each day and by faith apply what we learn, wisdom will grow within us and change our lives. And the most wonderful thing about wisdom is that it can never be devalued by fluctuating market conditions. Wisdom and knowledge are commodities that are always in high demand. Therefore, in the end, wealth finds its way to the wise, but also the wise understand wealth is relative and never pursue wealth as a goal in life. A truly wise man understands what is truly important; walking daily with the Lord of Life, because He alone is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. In good times and in bad times, the wise man never falters in his faith because he understands God brings both with a purpose, and ultimately all things work to the good for those who love and trust in God’s purposes – no matter the circumstances they find themselves in life.
Wealth may come and go, but the wisdom from God will never fade in value. However, be careful to not mistake man’s wisdom for God’s wisdom. Genuine wisdom is absolute, whereas man’s wisdom is relative and subject to change. Always know the source of the wisdom you seek, and your future will be secure. If what you find to be wisdom, filter it against God’s Word: if it is from God it will be verified in His revelation of truth to you. If not, it is of man! Which do you trust? Time always increases the value of God’s wisdom. That is the test of God’s wisdom versus man’s wisdom.