How to Become Smart

Proverbs 1-3

Proverbs 1 7 NIV (1)

How do you become smart?  Are you just born that way?  Do you have to go to school to get smart?  Proverbs 1:7 says that the beginning of knowledge is to fear the Lord.  You will start down a path of intelligence as soon as you fear the Lord.  You might be a great doctor or an impressive lawyer that studied a long time to get where you are, but if you don’t fear God, you aren’t that smart.  Fear seems like a very odd first step in becoming intelligent, but let’s talk for a second about why that is true.

Why should we fear God?  Well, He knows everything, has the power to do anything He wants, has been around forever, made everything, is in control of the whole world, and could squish you like an ant if He wanted to.  That is really intimidating!  If you are not fearful of someone with that kind of power and control over your life, you probably don’t really believe He exists.  If you don’t believe He exists, you’re not very smart.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

The first step in becoming smart is to fear God, but what are the next steps?  You may think that certain people are born intelligent, that some people are just naturally smarter than others.  That may be true to an extent, but wisdom is not going to just automatically happen for you.  Proverbs 2:4 says that you need to search for wisdom and understanding like it is a hidden treasure.  It takes the action of searching on your part to become wise.  Proverbs 2:2 mentions that you need to make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding.  You need to study the Bible and listen to what it has to say and listen to what wise Christians may also be telling you.  You need to open your heart and mind to the possibility of changing your mind and learning from the Bible and others.  You may think you already have all the answers and can handle everything on your own, but you don’t and you can’t.  Verse 3 goes on to say that you need to cry for discernment and lift your voice for understanding.  You should take the time to ask God for wisdom, and not be scared to ask others you can trust for their help or advice.

On a side note, in Proverbs 1:20 it mentions that wisdom is a “she”.  Gentlemen, take note of that.  I don’t think it is just a coincidence that the author says wisdom is female.

There are many benefits of wisdom mentioned in today’s chapters:

  • God will protect those with integrity and discretion will guard you.
  • It will deliver you from the way of evil and from evil men and women.
  • Days and years will be added to your life.
  • Peace will be added to your life.
  • You will find favor and have a good reputation with God and man.
  • Trust in God with all your heart and He will make your paths straight.
  • It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones if you fear God and turn away from evil.
  • It will give you riches and honor.
  • All her (wisdom’s) paths are peace.
  • Happiness to all who hold her (wisdom) fast.
  • You will not be afraid and your sleep will be sweet.
  • Confidence will come from the Lord.

Fear God, search for wisdom, study the Bible, listen to wise Christians, be open to different viewpoints, and ask God for wisdom.  That is how you become smart.  And once you become smart, you will live longer, have special protection, be at peace, have riches, have honor, and be happy.  Seems like the smart thing to do.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 4-6 as we learn more about wisdom on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

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