the skinny on wisdom
by, Carrie Postma
I'm just going to start this post off with some honesty... sitting down to write this has been really hard. I've attempted to write this post approximately 353 times over the course of a few weeks. I'm not 100% confident that I'm the person to be talking about "wisdom" but, God calls the unqualified - so, let's see how this turns out, shall we? Also, fair warning that what I'm about to share may cause you to spend the rest of your life talking to God so, there's that.
I always like to begin with the dictionary when I'm digging into a topic. It just helps me narrow down the perspective a bit. So, here is what Merriam-Webster says about wisdom:
Knowledge, insight, judgement and belief are the words that jumped out at me the most, and I think they really summarize what wisdom is all about, but there's so much more. Let's break it down a little bit or "unpack it" as pastors all across America are saying these days.
Before we begin to care about wisdom, why do we want wisdom? Maybe this list of reasons from Proverbs will inspire you to pursue wisdom:
- Gain a deeper sense of discernment (Proverbs 1:2, Proverbs 5:2)
- Learn self-control, honesty, fairness and what is right (Proverbs 1:3)
- To find purpose (Proverbs 1:4)
- Find guidance (Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 2:9)
- To not be a fool! (Proverbs 1:7)
- Know God (Proverbs 2:5)
- Protection (Proverbs 2:7-8, 12-15)
- Find Joy (Proverbs 2:10)
Proverbs is FULL of wisdom nuggets. If you don't know where to start for daily quiet time, I always encourage people to start in Proverbs. God worked it out for Proverbs to have 31 chapters so that is basically a chapter per day for one month. You will find gold in this book of the Bible, I promise.
Now that you've found some pretty good reasons to seek more knowledge, let's look at how we can gain more wisdom. It might not be what you think! Surely we can read all the books, talk to all the people, do all the Christian things and grow in knowledge. What we really, truly, deeply need is knowledge straight from the Source.
Did you know that the Bible mentions "the fear of God" over 100 times? And many of those mentions are related to gaining wisdom from Him. The fear of God is an attitude of trust in God's authority and power over everything. So, if we have a healthy fear of God, we know that everything He does in our lives and the knowledge He gives us can be trusted. We respect and honor what He says is true. The more we know God, the more we understand the world through his eyes (Proverbs 9:10).
Getting to know God and his ways are surely worth a lifetime of study. Saint Augustine said, "Patience is the companion of wisdom." Even though we are constantly being told to "hustle", wisdom requires you to work the muscle of patience. Begin today by opening up your Bible to Proverbs, read God's truth and trust in his ability to fill you with wisdom.