Perceive the Words
“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity” (Proverbs 1:2-3).
by Timothy Malinowski
A 2018 study from Cornell University estimates that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. Each decision, of course, carries certain consequences with it that are either good or bad. Likewise, with every decision we make, we may use either good or bad judgment. The mental faculty of judgment is the final “filter” of our thoughts before we lead with our words, work with our hands, or move with our feet. In our lives, judgment is both a privilege and a responsibility. It is a privilege to lead our life by it and it is a responsibility to teach it to our children, family, and friends. We let “our light shine” through the use of godly judgment.
King Solomon showed us, by the example of his life, that we establish our families in righteousness with the proper use of judgment. As a platform, judgment has a far-reaching influence and power that leads to every good work. Solomon’s use of poor judgment, later in his life, shows us how we too can fall from God’s favor, through our use of ungodly judgment.
King Solomon wanted us to be successful. He stated that good judgment begins with our heart’s commitment to mercy and truth. “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:3-4). “It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:8).
In the last verse of Proverbs 1, “Wisdom” tells us that if we listen to it, we will live safely, quietly, and without the fear of evil. “Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33).
Learning good judgment is a task to which we must set our minds. This is where King Solomon had an advantage over us. His mind was flooded with wisdom and the precepts of good judgment by our Heavenly Father. We however, must focus our mind on God’s word, apart from the many distractions of this world.
Both King David and King Solomon fell victim to the distractions of the world. Yet, each provides us with beautiful admonitions to learn godly judgments. Consider the remarkable similarity of the admonitions of King David and his son, King Solomon.
“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11).
Now consider the words of his son, King Solomon: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her” (Proverbs 3:13-18).
Instruction of judgment is the promise of the Book of Proverbs. Judgment is our spiritual gyroscope. It is a sustaining faith mechanism. It is a source of life for our families. It is the repository of God’s wisdom and instruction. The Book of Proverbs was forged especially for us through man’s weakness but in God’s strength. Let us use it as our “owner’s manual” as we approach Him to learn His wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. Then, like King David (Psalms) and King Solomon (Proverbs), let us mentor others through the proper use of godly judgment.