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Humility and Health

Humility and health

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

How does humility help us with our health?

Benson, in his commentary on the passage, suggests that we should reverence God’s wisdom instead of relying on our own extremely limited knowledge. When we live a life that turns from lust and overindulgence and instead focus on prudence, temperance, sobriety, and composure of mind we will produce health and peace of mind.

John Piper gives us an excellent definition of wisdom; “The greatest human wisdom is the factual knowledge and the situational insight and the necessary resolve that together will bring successful and everlasting happiness.”

The ancient Hebrew word for wise is Chakam. It means :

to be wise

(Qal) to be or become wise, act wisely

(Piel) to make wise, teach wisdom, instruct

(Pual) to be made wise

(Hiphil) to make wise

(Hithpael) to show oneself wise, deceive, show one's wisdom

At what point do we know that we can truly trust ourselves, trust our wisdom? Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Lao Tzu followed that up with, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”  

But can you honestly say you know yourself?

Vance Havner wrote an interesting insight, “If you lack knowledge, go to school. If you lack wisdom, get on your knees! Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge.”

Can you gain wisdom?

Some people say you can. Carla from Moosh Walks writes that doing the following  will help you on your journey to wisdom:

  1. Try new things.
  2. Talk to people you don't know.
  3. Do it the hard way.
  4. Make mistakes.
  5. Share your wisdom with others.

Although I like her energy and enthusiasm, I would venture to say that by doing the things above you would gain new experiences and knowledge but probably not wisdom. Wisdom is making the right decisions based on experience and knowledge and there are many people who just don’t learn.

Throughout the bible, you will find that God wants his people to be wise and safe. More importantly, wisdom is given freely just by asking. In fact, Proverbs 3:13 shares. “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom.” To do this completely you need to eradicate your pride and arrogance. By gaining wisdom you will gain God’s favour and be seen in a much better light by others.

In James 1:5 we find, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

Proverbs 1:7 brings us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

In Proverbs 19:20 we read, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

Finally, I bring you to Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

How do we get this “wisdom”?

  1. Ask God for help
  2. Read the word of God which is replete with words of wisdom
  3. Learn from the world through attentive, piercing, critical, and keen observation and thinking. Question everything!
  4.  Be a lifelong learner but Learn from the Best of the Best. Before accepting anything of importance at face value – have it authenticated.
  5. Whatever you believe in or not, live and pursue wisdom as if you were to live for eternity. Even if eternity doesn’t exist you won’t go wrong.
  6. Finally, 1 Corinthians 3:18 teaches us to “become a fool that you may become wise”

Why will wisdom give us health and nourishment?

  1. It brings with it more peace and less stress.
  2. It helps us to wade through uncharted waters with a greater sense of certainty and calmness. We have the peace of knowing that we can read the signs and be prepared as best we can for whatever besets us.
  3. It helps us to move on. The Bayside church gives us, “The past is for learning, not living.”
  4. Wisdom helps us to navigate misleading emotions. Emotions are a response to a scenario, much like the flight or fight syndrome. By using our wisdom to decode these emotions we can give the appropriate response. Do we need something or do we just want something? Is this the right relationship to pursue or is this something to scratch an itch? The list goes on.
  5. It gives us the knowledge to practice a healthy lifestyle.
  6. The World Health Organization is built on the premise of international collaboration and is informed by shared wisdom and expertise.
  7. Wisdom and your health are predicated on the following decisions
    1. Knowing the choices
    2. Getting the facts
    3. Understanding your needs and values
    4. Determining what you want to get out of a course of action and seeing if it is possible
    5. Making an action plan
    6. Taking action

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. —Socrates

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance. —Confucius

A fool who recognizes his own ignorance is thereby in fact a wise man. —Buddha

What do these saying actually mean? They mean that the sooner we realize how little we know; that the sooner we will realize it is time for us the seek wisdom and use it to the best of our ability. Life is a continual search for knowledge that will make a difference in our life as well as others' lives.

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.


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Benson. (2020, 12 13). Proverbs 3:7 commentary. Retrieved from Bible Hub:

Brimmer, R. J. (2011, August 1). Wisdom—Chokmah. Retrieved from Bridges for Peace:

Burton, D. N. (2018, November 14). What Is Wisdom? Retrieved from Psychology today:

Carla. (2019, August 17). 5 Tips To Increase Wisdom. Retrieved from Moosh Walks:

Chakam. (2020, 12 13). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

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Dr. Catherine Le Gales-Camus. (2004). Promoting Mental Health. Retrieved from WHO:

George, E. (2020, December 13). 4 Ways to Gain Wisdom. Retrieved from Elizabeth George:

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Stanley, C. (2015, February 27). THE BENEFITS OF WISDOM. Retrieved from In Touch Canada:

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