12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
We cannot escape that wisdom is always paired with something else, whether it be called understanding, knowledge, discretion, or prudence.
Wisdom does not work unless it is put into practice. What does wisdom look like in practice?
It is not getting ahead of yourself, rather knowing your limitations.
It is not leaping before you look, rather knowing the right path … unless God has called you to step forward in faith.
It is not saying whatever is on your mind, rather knowing the time and place and how to speak your mind.
Other translations also say “I possess knowledge and discretion.” Like James said, “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2) I still work on knowing when to share what I have learned, but the real task has been learning when it is okay to offend and when it is just offensive to speak. Clearly, I am not yet perfect!
I personally like the phrase “find out knowledge of witty inventions.” I like to turn a phrase and reveal hidden meanings.
For example, the Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is one of my favorites, because it shares the gospel and has a great tune.
However, two years ago I learned the original meanings of most of the words expressed in the title and first line of the song. The title in modern English would actually be “God Keep You Strong, Great Men”.
Another example are political elections. Politicians on every side attempt to convince you to vote for them, and they most often use facts and data in ways outside of their original context. It takes discernment to find the truth in their inventive interpretations. It also takes discernment to be that politician and properly use facts and data.
Wisdom helps us discover truth and understanding in places we might not otherwise.
Wisdom can show us how interpret what is being said and done, and wisdom can show us how to present ourselves in word and deed.
Finding True Wisdom
Prudence and knowledge should lead us to realize that, as we are, we are unable to control ourselves, in word, deed or thought.
Wisdom should then lead us to realize that God, as revealed through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit, is the only way to find control and freedom.
Our Wisdom and Truth, reveal Yourself to us ever more. Help us to see past the lower and false wisdom of this world and see Your truth. Teach us understanding, discretion, and prudence. Make us more like You!