The Way Of Wisdom
It’s interesting as a pastor and just in life, the majority of the questions I get when you boil it all down, are wisdom questions.
As hard as it is to love someone, not many people ask questions about love. “Should I love my husband or hate him?” Nobody asks that. As important as holiness is, I don’t get a lot of holiness questions. Most people know the right thing to do, it’s just a matter of do they have the courage to do it.
Most all of our questions, at their core, involve wisdom…
- Should I confront that guy or not?
- Should I move forward in this relationship or take a step back?
- Should I put my money here or here?
- Should I do more or less?
Wisdom. We all need it, or at least need more of it.
- Some of you have been there. There have been times in your life where you weren’t sure how to navigate a certain issue or relationship… and maybe you still feel the pain of that today.
- Some of you are there now. You’re wondering, “what do I do?” What do I do in this relationship, with this family member, with my finances? I’m in a difficult spot and I don’t really know how to take the next step.
- Some are you are always there. Season after season in life, you end up stuck in a bad place. You’ve given yourself over, time and time again to folly and sin. And you can make things look okay on the outside, but in your heart you feel stuck and hopeless.
Wherever you are, I can promise you, you need more wisdom. And the good news is God wants to give it you. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.”
So what is wisdom? The word in Hebrew is Hokmah, which means “skill”. In the OT this word is also used in the context of craftsmen, sailors, and music… taking knowledge about something and then having the ability to put it together beautifully. It isn’t just the acquisition of knowledge; it’s the application of knowledge. It’s skill. And wisdom, for the Christian, is the skill of godly living.
How do we grow in wisdom? I believe Proverbs 1:5 gives us some practical steps. Proverbs 1:5 “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance”
Listen (Let the wise hear)
- Ask questions and listen (to God and others).
- You might think you are not a good listener, but you can learn how to listen. God called out to Samuel (1 Samuel 3) multiple times before he understood how to listen for His voice and respond. Eventually Samuel responded, “Speak for your servant hears”, and God began to talk to him and give him direction. Samuel had to learn how to listen to the voice of God and you can learn as well.
Learn (Increase in learning)
- Learn things and learn how to apply them in the different areas of life. It’s not just gathering new information, while that’s important, it’s the proper application of what you already know.
Look to others (the one who understands obtain guidance)
- Initiate – Go to someone who is a step ahead of you.
- You might be thinking… “I’m not sure who that would be.” And I would say to you, Is there pride in that?
- Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
- Proverbs 1:7 says “fools despise wisdom and instruction”… Don’t despise it, welcome it. Seek it out.