Two specific verses in Chapter 4 leapt out at me, and have been rattling in my head for the past 5 days.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
This is like the problem young people have with getting a that first job. The employer always says, "we're looking for someone with experience" and the applicant always thinks, "how do I get experience, without having a job?"
How do you get become wise by getting wisdom if you don't already have wisdom? Great question. My best shot at an answer so far is this. Get it from someone else. There are people who are older, or more experienced than you in every area of your life. Find them, ask them questions, and learn from their mistakes, it's way less painful. The trick is finding those people.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
I hear people say things like "guard your heart" all the time, and frankly it's something I associated with women, because it sounds like something that girls say to each other when they're talking about dating/relationships, etc.
But this wasn't written by a woman, nor was it written only to women, so I needed to give it some actual thought instead of dismissing it as "girlspeak". What does it mean to keep your heart with all vigilance?
What I've landed on this week is to not let your heart become corrupted with bitterness. If you get wounded by someone and feel like you're going to die from sadness, pain, sorrow, etc..... you will heal. However, if you let bitterness take root in your heart towards that person, thing, or organization, it will fester and grow and take over your whole life. Bitterness isn't something that happens to you, it's something you control, so you have to decide to not let bitterness rule in your heart, because it corrupts all of you. I think bitterness starts in our brain, where it serves as a defense against being hurt, but when we let it define us and rule in our hearts, that is when we walk into trouble.