Wisdom does not just give you a great life and enable you to make great and godly choices, but it also prevents you from doing a lot of harmful and foolish things. This chapter, especially at the end, really focuses on the things that wisdom keeps you OUT of and away from – and that is a huge key to living a great life.
Wisdom will keep you away from those who love to do wrong – who are restless until they have caused trouble for the day; they think it is entertaining and fun. Wisdom keeps us from foolish or obscene talking – which brings up the point that evil hasn’t really changed much. Wisdom was needed then, and it is very needed now – the world is still full of selfish, evil, and foolish people who want to go their own way and not follow God’s path. Wisdom helps us to guard our hearts – our hearts which are the wellspring of life – where we make so many of our choices. We need to protect what hits and hurts our hearts; our hearts need to be tender to the things that sadden and anger God (injustice), and our hearts need to be stronger against the things that are merely inconveniences in our lives (which most people spend most time complaining about). Finally, wisdom keeps us from losing focus – we can stay on the path, following God’s way, and not worried about how the world is walking their own way. This takes trust – trust that God’s way really is the best way. This is why the father at the beginning of the chapter is pleading with his son – this IS the best way to walk – don’t leave the way of wisdom.
All of this brings us a point – wisdom keeps you from the path of destruction… what is wisdom? Wisdom is the aptitude to make the choice to not do these things, but not doing them proves you have wisdom. There is a reinforcing nature to wisdom – we are given advice by the wise, we try it out (wisdom), we try it out (wise choice), then we see that it works (the wise choice is reinforced, we trust God’s path more, thus we are more wise and make more wise choices becoming more wise). It starts by being in God’s Word, around God’s people, and trusting in His path.