“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:20)
To avoid repeating past mistakes, such as speaking rashly or carelessly, we try to commit to memory words, Scripture, or phrases that we hope will come to our mind seconds before we let words fly. We hope they will rescue us: “If I remember these words in that moment, there might be more hope.” But words are forgotten.
Character formed remembers.
The wise are those whose character is wisdom. To seek wisdom—to be wise—is to seek to commit to heart: the formation of my heart. The heart being formed is developing ways or habits of choosing, doing, thinking, speaking, feeling that overtime “kick in” when certain choices, actions, thoughts, words, or emotions are called for. Where once you were late to respond, now you are on time, if not early.
When we say wisdom will guide you, integrity will guard you, faithfulness will watch over you, we are saying more than that you are wise or upright or faithful. We are saying that wisdom, integrity, faithfulness have a hold on you and they won’t let you wander, leave you helpless, or turn away from you.
But where does this wisdom, this character, begin? And towards what end? What shape will our formation take—in whose likeness will we be made? And how can it become a reality? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10)
We become like what we worship (Psalm 115:8; Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:10). Wisdom, then, is the formative daily practices that result from, come through, correspond to who or what we worship. Christ Jesus is the perfect image of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 1:15-20; 2:3). To worship him is to know him and to be known by him; to love him and to be made like him; to follow him and to become wise. Commit your heart to him.