Over the last few weeks, we considered how wisdom speaks to our disappointment; now we’ll see that wisdom speaks to our satisfaction as well. The choices we make toward wisdom or folly can have a significant impact on the quality of our lives.
I know an aged couple who live an enviable retirement. They use their freedom to serve others more than themselves. The husband, a former pastor, provides free or cheap preaching to small churches that lack a full-time minister. The wife grows her own garden, cooks her own meals, and drives her own car. Although in their 80s, they frequent the local gym for aerobic exercise. They snack on oranges every evening, are living off their own savings, and get to see their grandchildren regularly.
Another elderly couple in my acquaintance unfortunately does not experience such delightful blessings. Their bodies have deteriorated from years of gluttony and various addictions. They have few friends because their conversation generally drifts into some sort of gossip or complaining. Their money has long since run out, and their children tire under the burden of both caring for them and negotiating matters with their creditors. I love these folks dearly, but I’m saddened by their situation.
I’m not arguing that it’s easy to make good choices, nor that the good life always results when wise people make righteous choices. My aim is simply to show that we don’t have to look very hard to uncover evidence of the fact that deeds have consequences. The chief consequence of wisdom is satisfaction: not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus. Satisfaction comes from having our desires met or exceeded, which can happen only through Jesus, who is our “wisdom from God” (1 Cor 1:30).
In this section of Proverbs, Solomon explains that there is tremendous satisfaction for those who find (Prov 3:13-18) and keep (Prov 3:21-26) wisdom. The reason is simple: God designed it this way so we’d be satisfied in him (Prov 3:19-20). As Augustine so keenly observed, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (Confessions, I.1.).