8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
Notice that the first part of this verse says a man will be praised, honored, respected not because of his IQ or his store of knowledge, but according to his wisdom. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the importance of wisdom. So, if it’s not intelligence, then what is it?
Proverbs 14:1 says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” It is not wise to reject God. It is, in fact, foolish, showing a lack of understanding and a spirit that is perverse. In fact, the man who disclaims God is corrupt, having done abominable works. There is no one that does good apart from God.
The acknowledgement of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).
But the person who has a perverse heart will be despised, scorned, rejected.
Perverse: Turned away from what is right or good. A person with a perverse heart, a perverse spirit, is one who lacks wisdom. He is obstinate: Not open to reproof, hard-hearted, stubborn and unyielding.
The perverse person is reprobate: From Latin reprobat- ‘disapproved,’ from the verb reprobare, from re- (expressing reversal) + probare ‘approve.’ He is reversed from approval–that is, he has turned his back on that which is good, right, moral, godly.
He does not care who is hurt by his hard heart, his stubborn attitude. He cares only about getting what he wants, the way he wants it.
Finally, Proverbs 13:15 says, “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.”
Good understanding is wisdom. The wise person will gain favor. But the way, or path, of the transgressor is difficult, rocky, thorny, full of pitfalls.
Wisdom comes with godliness. Godliness comes with humility, teachability, and obedience to God.
Stay in the Word. Gain wisdom.