What is your definition of success? Most of us have contrived a measurement of time, talent, or treasure that defines victory. Vacations, accolades, positions, academic degrees, cash, assets, or ticks in a stock market account might comprise our chosen indicators that we have arrived. Success is the progressive attainment of a worthy goal. Consequently, it is imperative that we aim at the right target, especially when our soul is at stake. Solomon selected wisdom as his definition of success: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:13-14).
Israel’s leader had pursued many avenues in search of satisfaction. Although God had appeared to him on two separate occasions (see 1 Kings 3:5-15; 9:1-9; 11:9), Solomon pursued life apart from his Creator in five arenas that remain a risk for us to pursuing wisdom today.
Solomon pursued earthly knowledge for the sake of contentment (see Ecclesiastes 1:12-18). The king offered wise advice to many world leaders who traveled to meet him (see 1 Kings 4:34). He authored Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and two Psalms (72, 127). He spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1005 songs (see 1 Kings 4:32). He described plant life (see 1 Kings 4:33) and taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish (see 1 Kings 4:33). Yet, he still pursued knowledge apart from God. One millennium later, James compared two kinds of wisdom: Godly and worldly. The former is selfless. The latter is selfish (see James 3:13-16).
Contentment means “held together.” We think that if we are smart enough, we can hold it all together, and we often end up on autopilot apart from God. Our desire for contentment will only be satisfied in Christ who is the Peace of God (see Ephesians 2:14). He holds us together and brings peace to our relationships, reconciling us with God and with our counterparts in conflict.
Commit to knowing Him more intimately by daily reading a chapter in Proverbs that correlates with the date of the month. Allow the wisdom of Scripture to grow your selfless heart and to never lord it over others, as the Holy Spirit brings you peace.