Today’s reading is Proverbs 24-25, Psalm 41, and 1 Thessalonians 2.
Proverbs 24 speaks much about wisdom and being wise.
What is wisdom?
Dictionary.com states wisdom is “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgement as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”
Proverbs 24:13-14 reads…
13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
If the Bible says something is important than it is, and in this case of wisdom, it says we will find future and hope in it. Sounds pretty important to me. So how do we gain it?
My reflection resulted in 3 ways we gain wisdom (not in order of importance).
Let’s start with experience. I believe experience is a function of exposure, not just time. Through our learning from past decisions and situations, we will gain wisdom and make better choices moving forward if we take time to reflect on things as they happen looking back and take time before making future choices.
We can also gain wisdom from others. They may see things in a different way than we do by seeing it from a different angle we have not. We may be too close to the situation to see the big picture from a different perspective. As the saying goes, “we can’t see the forest through the trees” sometimes. I just discussed the importance of experience in gaining wisdom. Through the counsel of others, we not only learn from our experiences, but theirs, too.
Specifically on gaining wisdom from others, Proverbs 24:6 states…
6 for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Last, but definitely not least, we gain wisdom from God. How do we gain wisdom from God?
First, being in His Word through reading the Bible. God speaks to us through His Word by telling us what we need when we need it as we are told in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12. Ask any regular Bible reader how amazing it is that a devotional they regularly read has verses previously assigned that are exactly what they need to hear when they need to hear it. Is that a coincidence? I’m working through Tim Tebow’s One-Year Devotional: Mission Possible and what was the devotional on as began to write this..wisdom.
We also gain wisdom from God through prayer. It is sometimes said that being in the Word is God talking to us and prayer is us talking to God. And while I believe that to be true, I believe God also speaks to us through prayer. I often come out of prayer with peace and discernment. I commonly leave prayer time with certain things laid on my heart as how to proceed and with peace in those decisions, even if I didn’t hear the audible voice of God.
I could make a strong case that asking for wisdom is the most important thing we should pray for. Many sources say we make 35,000 decisions a day..wow! With that many choices, it seems like it’s pretty important God helps us make the best decisions. Many of us have also heard the A.C.T.S. acronym for how to pray which stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. If we pray for wisdom first, this will help us know what should adore God for, what we need to confess to God, what we should thank God for, and what we should ask God for which is His will and not our own.
I pray each one of us reading this will reflect on this as to how we each can grow to gain more wisdom though these 3 ways of experience, others, and God (through His Word and prayer).