The Characteristics of the Wise

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series The Wisdom of Proverbs

What are the characteristics of the wise? The book of Proverbs shows us seven of them, all of which relate to our relationships.

Humility, Loyalty, and Teachability

The first quality is humility, which involves walking in the fear of the Lord. When we do so, we see that we have no cause for boasting before others; all we have is gift and grace (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Another key characteristic is loyalty. We need to see others not as objects to be used but as people made in the image of God. This will help us look to the interests of others before our own, remaining loyal to them by treating them with respect.

Having a spirit of wisdom also involves teachability. When we value our relationships, we accept correction from those we love. Rebukes can be painful, but they also grow and shape us (Proverbs 27:6).

Righteousness, Godly Speech, Forgiveness, and Thoughtfulness

The fourth characteristic of wisdom is righteousness, which goes hand in hand with godly speech. The wise think about their responses, wanting to honor God with their words. They speak grace to those around them (Ephesians 4:29).

Being forgiving is another quality of the wise person, one of the hardest for us to accept. But we must remember that as much as someone may have wronged us, we too have wronged the living God. In His grace, God reaches down to us, for all of us have fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). Out of His forgiveness, we must forgive others, no matter how horrific their crimes against us.

The final characteristic of the wise person is thoughtfulness. We need to have a servant-hearted mindset, being a minister and not a manipulator. Other people cannot provide the significance, security, and satisfaction we crave; only God can do so. As a result, we ought to be thinking of others before ourselves.

The Crucible of Gaining Wisdom

These characteristics of wisdom must be developed over time. We need to gain a heart for wisdom and then seek to apply it to our lives. Gaining such wisdom will often happen through the crucible of trials, but we know that God is shaping us through our suffering and molding us more into His image every day.

The Proverbs transcripts used in this video are available online.

Are you going through a difficult season? Learn about how God uses trials to give us wisdom and perspective in Shaped by Suffering.


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