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I dropped out of college to start my own business. I took a week long class, passed the Ohio insurance exam, and within a month had started my own business as an insurance agent. I dropped out of college to start building the life I wanted.

I was young & I knew I didn’t have any clue to how to get where I wanted to be later in life. Knowing this, when I would sit down with clients that seemed to have a life that I wanted I would ask them, “What wisdom would you give me, a young man trying to get where you are in life?”

Most of the answers I received were pithy at best. On a rare occasion though, I would be given a great nugget of wisdom that wrote down & I took back to the office. My thought was, if I could just collect enough “secrets” to success then I would be able to navigate my way to my dreams.

Here I am close to a decade later with more failures than successes behind me. I stopped collecting the world’s wisdom a long time ago. Two and a half years ago to be exact. I stopped because I found a better source of wisdom. This source of wisdom changed my life dramatically & I can say confidently, “I’m finally navigating life from the correct map!”

The bible calls King Solomon the wisest man ever to have lived & ever to live again. When I read that I thought to myself, “Now this seems like a man I should get to know!”

So I did.

I have been studying the book of proverbs & King Solomon’s life for two and a half years now. In the book of Proverbs wisdom speaks as a woman in several passages scattered throughout the book. This last year I was curious as to what wisdom was saying, so I put all the passages together & closely paraphrased them. The following document is what I have come to fondly call Wisdom’s Challenge.

I, wisdom, offer up a challenge to you! For those who accept, riches, honor lasting wealth & righteousness are mine to freely give. I will show you how to truly live if you choose to accept the challenge.

Listen to my words because I speak about honorable things & what is right. From my mouth I speak truth & my words are righteous. There is nothing crooked or twisted in them. They are straight & true for those that are wise.

Men, take my instruction instead of silver & my knowledge instead of gold, because wisdom is better than valuable jewels & really, nothing you will ever desire comes close to comparing to me. How much better it is to get wisdom than gold. Choose my understanding rather than riches.

My son, eat the fruit, for it is good! The juice of the fruit trees are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is the same to your soul. If you find it, you will have a future & your hope will not run dry.

I, wisdom, dwell with sound judgement. I find knowledge & discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. Pride, arrogance, perverted speech, and the ways of evil I do hate! I have insight. I have strength. It is by me kings rule & rulers decide what is right. By me princes, nobles & all who govern justly rule.

I love those who love me. If you seek me diligently you will find me, wisdom. Riches, honor, lasting wealth & righteousness are mine to give. My gifts are better than gold, even the finest. My return is higher than any investment. I walk on the road of righteousness & the path or justice granting an inheritance & filling the banks of those who love me!

My son, do not forget my teaching, instead let your heart keep my commands. When you do, they will add length to your days, years to your life, and peace to your mind.

From the beginning of his work, the LORD possessed me. I was set up as the first act that he did ages ago. Before the beginning of the earth, when there was nothing, I was brought forward. Even before there were springs flowing with water. Before the mountains had been shaped & before the hills were formed, I was brought forward. Before even the dust of the earth.

When the LORD created the heavens & set the skies above, I was there. When he established the fountains & assigned the sea it’s limits, I was there. When he marked out the foundations of the earth, I was their beside him as a master architect. The LORD set me, wisdom, up before all creation & went to work creating life with me, as a master designer, at his side. Every day I delighted in him & never stopped rejoicing by his side. I loved his creation & delighted in mankind.

And now… Oh, son, listen to me… those who keep my ways are happy, so hear my instruction. Be wise & do not neglect it because whoever find me finds life & receives favor from the LORD. However, he who does no find me hurts himself. All who hate me love death!

How long you ignorant men will you love being ignorant? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing & fools hate knowledge? If you respond to my correction, mark my word, I will pour out my spirit to you. I will make my words known to you. But, because I have called & you refused to hear me; because you ignored all my advice & received non of my correction, I will laugh at your misfortune. I will mock when disaster strikes you like a storm & your misfortune comes like a raging wind. When distress & suffering come upon you, I will take pleasure.

Then you will call me, but I will not answer. You will search for me diligently, but will not find me. Because you hated knowledge, did not choose the fear of the LORD, took none of my advice, & despised all my correction, you will eat the fruit of your decisions. You will have your fill of your choices. The ignorant are killed by their turning away & the desires of fools ruins their life, but whoever listens to me will live secure & will be at peace without fear of disaster.

My son, I have built my house & laid a secure foundation. I have prepared a meal with choice meat & the finest wine. The table is set & my invitation is for you. I have riches, honor, lasting wealth, & righteousness to freely give. If you are ignorant or lack sense, turn in here. Eat of my feast; my choice meat & fine wine. Leave your ignorant ways & come down the road of insight.

If you think you’re living now, accept my challenge & I will show you how to really live!

Question: Where do you find wisdom for your life? How has this wisdom helped? You can leave a comment by clicking here.