Proverbs 4:8 says: “Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.”
The “her” in this verse is wisdom personified. Prior to this, we learn that wisdom comes from fearing (revering) God. Wisdom is something anyone can pursue—God gives it freely. But this verse uses two tender, yet compelling words when it refers to seeking wisdom: cherish, embrace.
To cherish wisdom is to value God’s perspective more than we prize the world’s way of doing things. It is to see the beauty of letting others go first, giving financially even when it hurts, forgiving those who have hurt us. Cherishing wisdom means we see gathering it as more important than amassing wealth, fame, status, or prestige.
Embracing wisdom means welcoming it even when it doesn’t make sense to us in the moment. Wisdom says to flee immorality (even though it’s tempting). It beckons us toward frugality (even though that shiny object sure looks pretty). It woos us to tell the truth (even when telling a little lie would get us out of trouble).
God’s promise to us (as we cherish and embrace) is two more words: exalt, honor. When you take the last place, God sees and exalts you in significant ways. When you seek to honor him, he brings honor to your life.
P R A Y E R: Lord, help me to cherish and embrace wisdom today, even if it’s difficult. I know your ways are better than mine, and I trust you to exalt and honor me as I exalt and honor you. Amen.