Wisdom Personified: the Lady Wisdom

Proverbs often personifies wisdom as a great lady—a person with whom we can have a relationship:

Illustration by Adam “Lurch Kimded” Howie

Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family

[Proverbs 7:01-04 (NLT)]

Take a moment to consider the profound ramifications of calling wisdom a person instead of a concept.  For example:

  • Always Something New to Discover. Concepts are things that can be grasped, analyzed, and understood.  By contrast, as the Apostle Paul rhetorically asked, “who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?”  No matter how well or how long you know a person, they can always surprise you.  The same is true of Lady Wisdom.  No matter how long we’ve known her, we can always learn something new about her.  We can always grow wiser than we are.
  • Role Model. People can be role models—an example for us to emulate.  The best that a set of rules or principles can do is to tell us what to do; Lady Wisdom shows us who to be.
  • Passion and Principle Combined. Principles are mere words on paper, abstract and emotionless.  People, on the other hand, cannot separate their logic from their emotions, no matter how hard they may try.  Lady Wisdom tells us that’s okay.  Proverbs depicts the wise person as passionate in every area of life—pursuing God with awestruck reverence; savoring the embrace of a spouse; doggedly loyal to friends and family; heartbroken by injustice; and overflowing with compassion for the poor.

Take some time this week to get to know Wisdom better.