Proverbs 12:8, A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

 God is good to provide his children with light to banish the darkness of the way. 

 And God does not neglect providing light even in the values that we should hold.   

Values have to do with things that are important; things that have priority in our walk of life. 

 Today much is said about core values especially when it comes to businesses or organizations. 

 The word core is used because these values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or an organization. 

 They are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and actions. 

 They are the values that help people or organizations to know what is right from wrong, the values that help to keep a person on the right path to reach a particular goal.

 One of the important times when values are discussed is in the matter of relationships that may lead to marriage for it is deemed important that both spouses have the same values that will guide them on one path of harmony.

 Values come into play concerning religious beliefs, management of resources, family makeup and family importance, work/life balance and even health. 

 Of course qualities such as dependability, honesty, loyalty, respectability, etc. are also very important values to many.   

 Companies have core values around which they claim to operate. 

 Some place great value on being environmentally correct, while others commit to innovation or even doing good for the world.

 Google believes in making a great search engine and building a great company and one of their values is expressed: Do the right thing; don't be evil.  Interesting!

So various values abound. 

 But our God tells us what our important value is to be and He gives us this by telling us in our proverb what we are to commend and what we are to despise. 

 For:  A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

 Go ahead and search what core values the people and companies of the world have and you will not find any who hold to the value that God gives to wisdom and the important value of despising a perverse heart.

 For God tells us in:

Proverbs 4:7-9, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Solomon is speaking to his son and he knows that the best thing for his son to pursue is wisdom. 

My, how this is in contrast to what the world promotes. 

Some fathers see in their sons or daughters academic or athletic ability and move the moon to see to it that every opportunity is given so that success is realized in these favored areas. 

But where is wisdom in all this?

How many fathers have defined any purpose for their children but instead leave that to the aluring calls of this world.

But those calls are empty promises that are temporal, based upon the crumbling foundations of time. 

Satan has made it very easy to sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate. 

For Satanís world system is based upon the immediate.

But God promises the pursuit of wisdom and understanding is a pursuit that builds upon an eternal foundation.

Solomon tells his son this when he says:  Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

But to exalt Wisdom, you must know Wisdom.

Only strangers to her are indifferent.

But only those who know her can exalt her.

David, the man after Godís own heart exalted wisdom.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. 

In this glorious outburst of David you can almost feel his excitement in seeing the manifold riches of God!

In this busy world we need the spirit of David, to stop, look and listen to the earth and heavens as they speak to us of the wisdom of God, for the earth and the heavens have a clear voice if you listen.  

David speaks of the voice of earth and heaven in:

Psalm 19:1-6, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

And Paul in Romans 1:20 adds,  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Jesus Christ compared the quest for wisdom to a search for a pearl of great price that was worth selling all in order to buy the pearl.

It is compared to the value of the whole world for Jesus Christ also asked what profit is it to a man to gain the whole world and to lose his own soul?

God places all value on wisdom for when He speaks of wisdom He is speaking of his Son Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ is the personification of wisdom. 

If you want to see wisdom in human form look to Jesus Christ.

So to know wisdom you must know Jesus Christ. 

To exalt wisdom you must know Jesus Christ. 

For wisdom is the principal thing. 

The Apostle Paul expressed this to the Colossians in:

Colossians 1:18, And he (Jesus Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Preeminence means supremacy, superiority, dominance.

Solomon who was the wisest of men examined the values of men and concluded that wisdom is the principal thing, wisdom is to be exalted, and as a consequence wisdom will bring honor, will bring a head ornament of grace, and a crown of glory.

And therefore Solomon says in our proverb:  A man shall be commended according to his wisdom:

This is what we are to commend in men. 

The world with its quest for self-esteem commends everything but wisdom. 

This is a trophy world, this is a praise for nothing world, a pat on the back world, a world of commendation for the least of things.

Now there are times when intelligence, courage, wit, learning, strength, dependability, integrity, honesty, and loyalty are to be commended but the highest commendation we are told ought to be according to a manís wisdom.

 But the natural in man is to put value upon things that are temporal, things that can be touched, seen and heard. 

 These are things of the five senses but wisdom is of the Spirit.

 Even in commendation men of this world commend according to that which is foolish, rather than that which is according to wisdom. 

 Our president celebrates and commends the coming out of famous people who decide to tell all about themselves concerning what the Bible describes as perverse. 

 Commendations go to that which is evil and criticism goes to that which is good.

 But God has the final commendation and He tells us a man shall be commended according to wisdom. 

 Remember Solomon who answered Godís question of what shall I give thee by requesting of God, wisdom and knowledge that he may go out and come in before his people.

 And God commended Solomon for his request saying in:

 2 Chronicles 1:11,12  ÖÖÖÖ.. Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:  12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

 The wisdom of Jesus Christ was commended not only by those who followed him but by his enemies. 

 The people were astonished at his doctrine for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

 The officers sent to spy on Jesus Christ returned to the chief priests and Pharisees saying: Never man spake like this man.

 And also remember the accounts of men of wisdom, such as Daniel and Joseph who by wisdom were commended to high positions according to their wisdom.

 It is remarkable that wisdom in their day was honored and these Bible accounts give us a landmark to compare to what is taking place in our day where truth is fallen in the streets.

 So we are to commend a man according to his wisdom. 

 We are to put wisdom on a pedestal in our set of values. 

 We are to communicate what is valuable to our children if we expect them to hold to Biblical values when they come of age. 

 What is being communicated to your children in your home today regarding what is valuable?   

Does it concern the creator of things or just the things? 

 Does it concern the temporal or the eternal? 

 Who are our heroes, who are your childrenís heroes? 

Are they the men of faith, the men of wisdom? 

 God is careful to show us what is important in life and those things that are eternal are always at the top. 

 But he also shows us what to despise.

   A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

Yes, Godís people are to commend a man according to his wisdom but to promote this value we are also to promote the despising of a man with a perverse heart.

 Here we see what God expects us to lift up and what God expects us to put down. 

 We are not to be one sided people always optimistic, never saying anything negative, always positive, living in some unreal world of our own making.

 God said the wages of sin is death. 

 How negative of God but he also said: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

 You cannot get to God through optimism. 

 But you can get to God through the dark saying that the wages of sin is death, which puts you on Godís path to salvation. 

 God despises the perverse heart. 

 Godís people are to despise the perverse heart.

 We are not to despise men because of their ethnicity, their financial circumstances, their intelligence or their appearance.

 But when it comes to a perverse heart, a heart that neither fears nor loves God, a heart that does not regard godliness or holiness, a proud and selfish heart who chooses to be antagonistic, unreasonable and walks the dark path, we are to despise that heart for God despises that heart. 

 That man works at being devoid of wisdom; that man works at being obstinate, foolish, irritating and offensive. 

 And to a man of wisdom he should be intolerable.

 God is teaching us what values to hold to, what we ought to stretch for, how we are to be perceived.

 It is good and it is Biblical to care what other men think of you. 

 Most times it is a better measure than how you measure yourself.  

 Proverbs 3 when speaking of a man whose neck is bound in mercy and truth says such a man will find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

What good men, what wise men think about you is important.  

Are you not being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ that other men may see Christ in you?

Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom and a man shall be despised according to his perverse heart. 

God says praise by good men is good, for when they praise the wise they are praising God for giving wisdom.

 A man ought to seek to have a good name and that is revealed by what godly men and godly women think of him. 

Proverbs 22:1 says this, A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Our Bible teaches us that good men will identify and praise the wise and they will identify and despise those of a perverse heart.

You ought to welcome the opinion of good men who are the ones God expects to use His wisdom to perceive wisdom in others and to evaluate and extend any commendations of which they are worthy.

In the body of Christ a manís stature, his reputation should depend on his wisdom. 

Godly men are to accept and approve those for leadership according to their wisdom. 

Godly men are to discriminate according to wisdom and not only accept and approve but are to reject and despise according to wisdom. 

Psalm 37:37 admonishes the wise to positively:  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

And Paul in Romans 16:17 reminds us to negatively: ÖÖÖmark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

So where are you in this proverb? 

Do men either commend you or do men despise you?  

You should care what the wise think of you for God tells you in His word to seek wisdom, and to grow in the Lord and in the doing of that come to a place where there will be commendation given according to your wisdom.  

And if you lack wisdom our good Father above, says this in:

James 1:5, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.