To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Is It?

The word wisdom is found 213 times in the ESV Bible. Until last night, I don't think I realized what a difficult subject wisdom is to articulate and/or understand. We had community group and because Rob has just begun a sermon series on James we were discussing wisdom...what it is and where it comes from. It didn't take me long to realize that in my head I have a bunch of jumbled up knowledge but no real clear understanding of the word and it's meaning and essence.
A perfect example...
Our van has been totaled out because of the accident on New Year's Day. Now we are looking for something to purchase...reliable, that we can afford, etc. So, we pray for wisdom to make the right decision. But is that wisdom as the Word defines it? Or just commonsensical knowledge governed by living according to God's principles?
Is it more than having the right answer or response to any given situation? It has to be. Because, if we're honest, there are people all around us who make wise decision and choices based on their understanding and experience of how certain things work, but they are not necessarily lovers of God.
At this point, I'm thinking there is wisdom...and then there is Wisdom.
wisdom-able to make sensible decisions and judgments on the basis of knowledge and experience...sensible.
Then there is Wisdom. "For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding..." (Proverbs 2:6)
From Proverbs 4 we read:
This Wisdom will guard you.
This Wisdom gives life.
This Wisdom will keep you.
This Wisdom will heal you.
This Wisdom is your sister.
Proverbs 8 tells us:
This Wisdom calls out to us.
This Wisdom is Truth and righteousness.
This Wisdom is better than any jewel.
This Wisdom is possessed by God.
This Wisdom was established before everything else.
This Wisdom was God's delight daily.
This Wisdom is huge. So big that just listing that from two chapters...only two chapters...and my mind is blown away. I don't know Wisdom the way God's Word presents Wisdom...but I know that is where I will find her.
Proverbs 8 ends this way...
“And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”
And this is the promise we have in James~~ "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."