The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom. It is concerned not only with how we attain wisdom, but also with how that wisdom affects us and causes us to live differently than we did before. Scripture is clear that wisdom isn’t to be pursued merely for its own sake—it is meant to produce change. Wisdom is meant to bear fruit in the lives of everyone who finds it, and as we look to the book of Proverbs, we can see that this wisdom causes our lives to bear fruit in at least three particular ways.
First, wisdom produces commitment to the Lord. So much of the early chapters of Proverbs emphasize that true wisdom involves knowing and fearing God, aligning our ways with his ways, and walking on the paths of his design rather than our own. The wise realize the foolishness of their hearts and recognize their humble dependence on the Lord to walk the path that leads to life. They continually seek to grow in the knowledge of his ways and seek to grow in obedience to him even as they recognize his kindness, mercy, and love toward them. Commitment to the Lord is at the very root of wisdom, and this commitment provides the very foundation upon which wisdom further builds and shapes those who live by it.
Second, wisdom produces godly character. Flowing from their commitment to the Lord’s ways, the wise live upright lives. They are kind, gentle, faithful, truthful, loving, honest people who seek to love God and love their neighbour well. Knowing the Lord and committing their ways to him inevitably transforms their lives. The book of Proverbs is especially quick to emphasize how wisdom leads to right living—not only toward God, but also toward other people, and this plays out in a variety of practical ways throughout life. The wise are not focused primarily on themselves and their own selfish desires, but instead on the good of their families, friends, neighbours, and everyone around them.
Third, Wisdom produces skill and competence in living. Built on a foundation of commitment and godly character, the wise are well equipped to navigate the many complexities of life. In a fallen world, we do not always have the luxury of seeing everything in black and white. We are often presented with grey areas and lose-lose scenarios that seem to have no good resolution. In the midst of these complexities, the wise, being rooted in the wisdom that God provides are uniquely equipped to handle these kinds of situations. God’s commandments tell us what we should do, but wisdom teaches us how those commands play out in the contexts of everyday life.
These are the fruit of wisdom—commitment to the Lord, godly character, and competent living in the midst of complex circumstances. As we seek and find the wisdom of God through his good word, may we also find that these fruit begin to characterize our own lives more and more each day!
All the best,