Summary: Mother Wisdom cannot guarantee that following her advice will create a personal Utopia, but her principles are likely to make our lives much, much better.

Mother Wisdom’s Advice

(Proverbs 3:1-8)

1. Mothers are, by nature, on the lookout to correct their children. Here are some fictitious quotations from the mothers of famous people:

• After all the money we spent on braces, is that the biggest smile you can give me? [Mona Lisa’s Mother]

• I don’t care what you’ve discovered, you could have still written. [Columbus’ Mother]

• Of course I’m proud you invented the electric light bulb. Now be a good boy and turn it off and go to bed. [Thomas Edison’s mother]

• But it’s your Barmitzvah photo. Couldn’t you do something about your hair? [Albert Einstein’s mother] (adapted from

2. One of many great gifts a mother can give her children is wisdom. As a matter of fact, wisdom is personified in Proverbs as a woman, and she addresses her listeners as “my son.” So I call her, “Mother Wisdom.”

Main Idea: Mother Wisdom cannot guarantee that following her advice will create a personal Utopia, but her principles are likely to make our lives much, much better.

3. They had a news story about what people living into their 90’s and 100’s had in common. A lot of that, however, is genetic. What matters more frequently is helping someone who would die in their 50’s to live to their 70’s or 80’s. There are things that make a difference, but no guarantees. But certain behaviors increase statistical likeliness. That’s how it is with wisdom. We are really talking about improving the statistics, not guarantees.

I. Mother Wisdom Wants to EXTEND the Lifespan of Her Children (1-2)

The word for teaching is torah. Wisdom has its own torah. And the payoff is later.

A. Wise people are not RECKLESS

Joke about Jones who worked at gun powder factory, lit cigarette in powder room.

If you engage in reckless behavior, it can catch up to you: driving, sports, electricity, life jackets, crash helmets, procedures…

B. Wise people live in BALANCE and MODERATION

Many things good in moderation are harmful in excess…

C. Wise people develop DISCIPLINED routines

II. Mother Wisdom Wants Her Children to SUCCEED in Life (3-4)

We are bind these, absorb them, integrate them into who we are, never leave them behind or lose them…PART OF US like a tree graft…

What is success? A rich, meaningful, God-honoring life (a life that is an investment and enjoyable rather than just using up time).

A. Two qualities make others PREDISPOSED toward you

1. HESED (steadfast love, kindness)

2. FAITHFULNESS (truthfulness)

• People pleasers are kind, but not always honest (what you want to hear)

• Honest people are not always kind, but can be blunt, harsh, unfeeling

• But people who are both, those are the kind of people we love and respect

• Mothers teach kindness…my mom talking to widow … Marylu’s mom

B. Gains favor with both God and PEOPLE

1. Parents are pleased when their children treat one another w/ love & respect, but displeased w/ sibling rivalry, arguing, taking another’s things

2. When we treat others with kindness and truthfulness, God is pleased.

3. Favor and success, literally grace and a name

III. Mother Wisdom Wants Her Children to Consistently Follow God’s DIRECTION (5-6)

A. Trust in Yahweh with your HEART

• Picture: instead of supporting yourself (leaning), you helplessly fall down before God (trust); many never consult God, submit in prayer

B. Choose HIS wisdom over your own

C. HONOR him consistently in all areas

• Acknowledge means being aware of God’s presence and superintending of your life…

• Marylu would often remind us to pray before vacations

• She also served in ministry, teaching our kids to do the same

D. He will DIRECT your paths when you need to choose

1. By his Word which gives wisdom, including Proverbs [prove]

2. By befriending wise, godly people

3. By His Spirit

4. By revealing the information you need

5. By being who you were created to be (gifts, talents, circumstances, personality)

6. By submitting the choice to him (“stop me”)

IV. Mother Wisdom Wants Her Children to Be JOYFUL and Healthy (7-8)

A. HAUGHTINESS can neutralize wisdom (7a)

B. Godliness NURTURES wisdom (7b)


1. HEALTHIER than would be otherwise

2. More REFRESHED and refreshing

Joy is taught; my mom used to sing around the house as she’d clean or do things

If you can develop a spirit of joy, life is so much richer; it comes from wisdom, HS

Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Dried bones are a figure for depression, despondency, a gloomy, joyless existence

Do you have dried bones? Do you want to dry out everyone else’s bones? Or are you joyful because you seek to be humble and godly?

Mother Wisdom cannot guarantee that following her advice will create a personal Utopia, but her principles are likely to make our lives much, much better.

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