Street Smarts: Wisdom for Life from Proverbs

Series: “Street Smarts: Wisdom for Life from Proverbs”

One modern sage quipped: ‘We are now far too clever to be able to survive without wisdom.” Yes, indeed. We need wisdom more than ever to navigate through the endless choices and possibilities for life. So, we’re starting a summer series in Proverbs to gain practical understanding on a wide range of issues like money, speech, poverty, wine, work and sex.

Proverbs are short poems or artfully designed words. In a proverb-like summary, Cervantes said that “a proverb is a short sentence founded on long experience, containing a truth.” They are punchy and designed to grab attention – one can almost call them “word cartoons.” Here’s an example: “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is trust in a faithless person in time of trouble” — Proverbs 25:19.

We use the word “street” in the series title because the Proverbs contain dozens of references to roads, lanes, and paths. In this series we’ll compare different types of paths and where they lead. One writer noted that they’re paths precisely because many feet have made them, and so we can compare the happy and sad destinations of their respective travelers.

The motto for the whole collection is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” – Proverbs 1:7. Lastly, in this ancient book of the Bible, “wisdom” is personified as a smart, attractive woman who offers her life lessons to all without price. “O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense” – Proverbs 8:5. Let’s learn together this summer in the school of Lady Wisdom.