“It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel.”
This is how a foolish man reads Proverbs 24:5-6:
- It’s better to be wise than strong.
- Intelligence outranks muscle any day.
- Strategic planning is the key to warfare.
- To win, you need a lot of good counsel.
It’s a message of independence through a prioritized life of first to last.
The danger in reading this passage through our flawed human filter is that we will naturally believe the first four words in this verse to be the foundation upon which we live our lives: “It’s better to be.”
Our actions then automatically fall in line with the thinking that life is about us verses them.
Brains verses brawn.
Work verses lazy.
Smarts verse stupidity.
Winners verses losers.
Power verses poverty.
Get ahead verses fall behind.
But I can’t help but think of two words I recently read in Bob Goff’s “Love Does” that greatly challenged me. He mentions how God’s Kingdom is like a “backwards economy.” This phrase has floated through my mind a lot in the past few weeks and it’s exactly what comes to mind now as I read this passage of scripture.
God’s “backwards economy” means, the last shall be first and the first shall be last. It means, if you want to live your life, then you must die to it. It means, if you want to exalt yourself, then you must humble yourself. Crazy, right?
When this happens, when we arrange this passage of scripture in a last-shall-be-first-sort-of-way, wisdom allows us to grasp a whole new message which leads us to focus on the last five words of this verse: ”a lot of good counsel.”
Our actions then automatically fall in line with the thinking that life is about us together and that this is the foundation upon which we should live our lives.
Thus, this is how a wise man reads Proverbs 24:5-6:
1. To win, you need a lot of good counsel.
Start with people. Be around accountability. Surround yourself with wise friends and mentors who can instruct you with knowledge and understanding.
2. Strategic planning in the key to warfare.
You want to know how to get ahead? Seek Godly advice. Be strategic about the wisdom you are pouring into your life. Be strategic about the people you surround yourself with. Be strategic about how you use your time and how you live your life. You want to do “warfare” on your circumstances in order to live your life differently? Surrender to God’s will.
3. Intelligence outranks muscle any day.
You may be ambitious with a head full of ideas…. you may be a dreamer on a mission to change the world… you may be full of zest, vision and adrenaline, but ask yourself what wise foundations you have in place that will set your faith up with sustainability and longevity? No amount of “muscle” will open what God has shut and no amount of “intelligence” can close what God has purposed. Good counsel knows this. Good counsel will guide you in this truth.
4. It’s better to be wise than strong.
At the end of the day, you are not an island. Life is not about survival of the fittest, dog eats dog, work smarter, work harder and keep climbing that ladder. Wisdom is found in knowing that life is about surrender, repentance and togetherness for the furtherance of His Kingdom.
So what is wisdom resolution?
It’s a message of dependence through a surrendered life of last to first. And you know what? I’m perfectly okay with this kind of economy.