Proverbs 4:11,12 Dissected & Defined
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom (skill in living); I have led thee in right paths (course of life). When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (made narrow); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble (trip).
A word of encouragement to the student—Solomon’s son. He gives him a little motivational kick to follow what He has been teaching him.
Solomon is challenging his son to make the search for wisdom his lifelong goal by following the “way of wisdom.”
The way of wisdom is rather simple. It is actually given to us in chapter one. In chapter one, we see three words that lead up to wisdom. Those words are instruction, knowledge, and understanding. They are the stepping stones of wisdom. If you take these steps, you will acquire wisdom in a particular area of life. This is the “way of wisdom.” The more areas in which you take these stepping stones, the more wisdom you obtain.
Be Careful To Listen In Life
The first stepping stone is instruction. That is “information acquired.” When you acquire it, then you have been instructed in an area. The second stepping stone is to turn that instruction into knowledge. Knowledge is “information accepted.” You accept information when you perceive it to be truth with intention of following, as necessary. When you accept information, you gain knowledge in an area. The third stepping stone is understanding—”knowledge applied.” That is to say, a circumstance in life has led you to apply your acquired information (your knowledge). When you apply knowledge, you will then acquire understanding in that area as an expertise. By exercising faith in this process, you will be given wisdom by God.
Solomon told his son that he had taught him this “way of wisdom” and had given him clear direction in his life. The only step left was for his son to follow his direction and take the right steps. Solomon explains that the benefits of applying these steps are enormous: ample room to negotiate in life and safety and stability in your life’s journey.