Wisdom (Deut 4:6; 1 Kings 3:9; Psalm 119:97-98; Matthew 6:33; Romans 12:3;1 Timothy 1:18-20) truly desires the knowledge of God's Word and it's proper application to our life. Wisdom is rooted in doing the will of the Lord; to forsake His Word is to forfeit wisdom (Jer. 8:8-9). Wisdom will enable us to make good judgments and decisions. We will seek what is right and true based on God's will and not how we may feel or think.
Foolishness, Emotionalism, indifference, and Thoughtlessness are opposite terms. These traits will cause us to base our decision making on faulty premises and over emotional thinking. Therefore, we will be unable to make good and healthy choices, thereby leading us into bad situations and strife. These rotten fruits will cause us to be calloused and unconcerned about truth or what is virtuous and right. In so doing, we become the fool described in Proverbs.
Always remember, we exist only by the grace of our Lord, as Paul expounds to us. Paul's ministry and life were results of grace, and so is ours. Our call and responsibilities have been given to us along with the gifts and abilities to carry them to completion. We will achieve these by weighing all the possibilities, and making the most virtuous decisions based on what will best glorify our Lord.
Wisdom is the recognition of the faith and abilities we have been given, and applying them, along with the responsibility to follow through with vigor. We are to be realistic, yet bold and daring, be shrewd and cautious stewards, yet go with gusto, willing to take a risk (if it is wise to do so). Wisdom gives us the temperament, balance, and place to be so we can influence and help others, while not adding our inclinations to it (being condescending). We are to grow in the wisdom of the Lord, know what our capacities are, and where the opportunities lay, so we know where to go, and where to grow, then carry it to glorify our Lord.
People who are wise are nourished by the Word. They get into the Scriptures with study and application, not just read it like a novel. The Word must touch who we are, and transform our very core; this gives us the knowledge that leads and transforms. We cannot be an effective Christian, or lead others, if we do not know the way; to know the way, we must have the knowledge. The knowledge comes from experience, and experience comes from discipleship. The Will of God is for us to study His Word; this will change our behaviors and our lives, so that others will want to be like us, because we are like Him.
Our behaviors cannot change until we know how to behave correctly; this is wisdom, not by emotional commitments that do not last, but real effort in the will to work out our salvation in discipleship: "…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:10). Renewal does not come from emotionalism; rather, it comes from the knowledge of the Word, and by the power of the Holy Spirit! Emotions are great, but they cannot substitute for a real commitment to the work and effort necessary for the Christian life, and essential for leadership.
Too many Christians neglect the basics of the faith, replacing it with new teachings, or neglect good teaching all together. They forget who God is, and who we are in Christ. If we do not know who God is and what our call and responsibilities are, then how are we to grow in our faith, in maturity, and in character, not to mention in leading others in the direction of God's call? We can't! The opposite of maturity is immaturity, as the opposite of wisdom is foolishness, and this is the result of no direction in life brought on by no discernment. This leads to rebellion against God, and His godly leaders. We will then lead others away, as well. We will be leading people in hopelessness and despair, because most people cannot discern the difference. Thus, it is the Christian's responsibility to know their faith, and apply it with correct knowledge, based on God's Word.
Be careful that your knowledge does not puff you up, as Paul warns. Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. A lot of Christian groups have rebelled against knowledge and education because of the arrogance they perceive, and for good reason--from their perspective. Personal corruption can take on the form of wisdom, because knowledge is power and control. We need to heed to the responsibility of wisdom, and humbleness in the knowledge that God gives us, not it's power trappings to put others down. Remember, all of the fruits of the Spirit, and these other character traits we have been learning, all work together. None stand alone!
We can be assured that what Christ did is relevant, impacting, and, a reality, calling for acceptance and commitment. The Sovereign Creator of the universe must transform our lives, including our thinking and knowledge. He will pursue, and we are to respond and surrender to His sovereignty. Then, our purpose will be unfolded before us, and the impact we have will be beyond our dreams and expectations.
- How do I exhibit Wisdom to others in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop an attitude of, and a willingness to exercise Wisdom?
- What blocks my imparting Wisdom to others?
- How can I make Wisdom function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty, stress, and, most importantly, time constraints?
- How would you define Wisdom?
- Do you strive to be Wise to others without being condescending, reflecting who you are in Christ, and what He did for you?
- How does Foolishness counteract Wisdom? Why is Wisdom something that is not as valuable in our society as it should be?
- What happens to our relationship with God, and with others, when we pursue only our happiness and our needs, rather than being Wise?
- When have you most shown Wisdom to others?
- In what situation did you fail to be Wise when you should have been?
- What issue is in your life that would improve by being Wiser?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Wisdom into action in a specific instance. Such as, how could you improve your decision-making skills? How could you make of yourself a more teachable person?
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Num. 22:15-35; Prov. 29:12; Isa. 7:10-15; Matt. 13:10- 17; 16:21-25; John 6:58-61)
I Timothy tells us, "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." I Timothy 4:15-16