Over these last few weeks it has been so sweet to watch news coverage of some UK seniors who have turned 100 years old. Inevitably at some point of the interview the centenarian is asked if they have any wisdom to pass on to the rest of us. What follows is usually wonderful words of encouragement. E.g. laugh more, love well, worry less, etc.
Wisdom is a deeply attractive trait in a person and it’s something we can all aspire to grow and mature in. It is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements.” A great attribute for sure. But how much greater is Godly wisdom, a wisdom that doesn’t come from who we are in and of ourselves - but it comes from God and reflects Him.
Every Christian and follower of Jesus should seek to walk in Godly wisdom. The Bible is full of references to wisdom and the Book of Proverbs is devoted to it. It matters to God that we operate in a wisdom that is so much greater than our own thoughts and words. They are words accompanied from a life bearing good fruit by walking close with God and learning to hear and heed His voice.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 NIV)Looking back over my life, I have to confess I haven’t always made the best decisions in some situations. Of course, there is no going back, but thankfully there is moving forward. Hindsight is a great thing, if we use these reflections to propel us towards better actions and reactions rooted in God’s perspective. As pastors wives/husbands we truly do need a depth of wisdom that is so much greater than our own both for life and ministry. It’s a life of high calling and high cost. To watch our words, guard our hearts, humble our attitudes and pursue God, will anchor us in a strong and sure foundation.
All too often we can actually respond to situations or conversations completely unfiltered. Reacting instead of pausing to consider how to act. Our opinions and advice, even to our spouse may be through tainted lenses of our own hurts, judgements, offense ,pride, fear or anger. If we don’t take pursuing godly wisdom seriously, then all we will ever have to offer is the fruit of our own lives, whether healthy or not. All the more reason for us to pray, worship, and search the scriptures daily to be clothed in Godly wisdom.
How amazing that God loves to answer those prayers of pursuit.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)
As previously mentioned the book of Proverbs is devoted to truth about the benefit of wisdom, the fruit of walking in wisdom, and the encouragement to us as believers to pursue wisdom. Many years ago I heard Rev Dr R. T. Kendall at a conference encourage people to make the daily habit of reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. The 31 chapters makes this an ideal practise. It’s something I personally cultivated from then, and the book of Proverbs remains an absolute joy and wonder to me.
The more we seek to walk in the presence and wisdom of God, then that fruit that will naturally start to flow from our lives. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”. (James 3:17 NIV)
I’m reminded today of a rhyme my mother often used to repeat.
”If wisdoms ways you wisely seek, Five things observe with care – To whom you speak, of whom you speak, and what, and when, and where.” Godly wisdom through mothers never leaves us. As well as walking with God, be intentional to walk with those who exude godly wisdom in their lives. Then hopefully these good attributes will become ours.