Proverbs Are Not Dogmatic Law, They Are Tools, Guidelines And Boundaries To Live By (Proverbs 1:2)
- October 28, 2020
- Posted by: Craig Chamberlin
- Category: Philosophy
“for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight;”Proverbs 1:2
The role of proverbs in our lives should not be to create an overall dogmatic law or code to live by. The purpose of wisdom and instruction are to set guidelines and boundaries to operate within the human condition. If one thinks of the book of proverbs as an instruction sheet to interpret everyday living, they realize that proverbs are essentially a “toolkit” for functioning within the human condition.
Wisdom, in this light, is the tool kit for understanding how to operate as a human being in every day life. As with any tool kit, you may not use all of the tools at any single moment. There may be times when a “wrench” is appropriate, other times a “hammer” or “screwdriver”. The basic principle here is that it is important to know that you need to possess a “wrench”, “hammer” or “screwdriver”, otherwise getting the job done will simply be more difficult than it needs to be.
“Wisdom and insight are the proper tools for managing the complexity of the human condition. It is difficult to fashion these tools when a situation arises, it is best to familiarize one’s self with these tools so they can use them within a moments notice.”
Have you ever attempted to put together a table or chair without the proper tools? One must fashion them manually, from scratch, or use whatever is at their disposal. The process can take longer than it should, be frustrating, and even injure the person because they are using the wrong tools.
Wisdom and insight are the proper tools for managing the complexity of the human condition. It is difficult to fashion these tools when a situation arises, it is best to familiarize one’s self with these tools so they can use them within a moments notice. “I’ve got the tool for that!” is the ultimate goal here. It is to provide to tools necessary to get the job done, not to provide a set of concrete rules as absolutes.