Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category
“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Whenever I see the words “Be very careful” it definitely grabs my attention. This is a very interesting and unique Bible verse about wisdom. When I first read this verse, I pondered what Paul meant when he said that the days were evil. Was it something specific to that time because there was so much persecution happening to the church back in Paul’s day? Or is it something that still happens today? Are the days just as evil today as they were back then? I think in some ways, the days are more evil and opportunities slip by even easier than they did back in Paul’s day.
You don’t have to look very hard to see that the days are evil. Just flip on the TV or walk through a public high school and you’ll probably hear 1 good thing for every 50 negative things being said. I must confess that in my own life, I’m very guilty of not making the most of every opportunity. I get so focussed on my ambitions and work that I rarely take the time to find out what God is trying to do in my life and in the lives of those around me. I often let opportunities pass my by because I get so focused on my own problems and ambitions. It is wisdom to slow down and take the time to find out what God is doing around you.
How sad will it be if, when you die and go to Heaven, you see a huge amount of missed opportunities that you were too busy to do anything about while you were here on Earth. Wisdom requires that we slow down and take the time to really think about our lives. That’s why, in a previous post, we talked about how the wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways. People very rarely like to sit down and give genuine thought to their lives and the opportunities that the Lord is constantly laying before each of us. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and realize that I’ve wasted the opportunities that the Lord has placed in front of me. I hope you feel the same way.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
This is another great verse. I love that it says that humility comes from wisdom. Those aren’t two character traits that we often associate with one another. Generally, when we think of wisdom, we think of well-read, well-educated people who have a lot of life experience who like to stand up and teach the masses. But this verse says that the wise and understanding person will focus on simple good deeds done in humility. That’s pretty astounding actually. Usually the person doing simple good deeds that often go unnoticed isn’t the wise and understanding person. It’s usually those with generous willing hearts that do the jobs that no one else wants to do. But this Bible verse and other verses like it say that the humility to do the simple, menial tasks that no one else wants to do is actually a mark of wisdom.
But if you really stop to think about it, we probably all can think of someone who was didn’t always think of their own needs but was always giving a helping hand to someone else. People like that are often the most content, and when you’re around them, they make you want to be more content with your life as well. I can see how that would be called real wisdom. Wisdom, after all, is just the knowledge of how to live one’s life well. Those who are the most content and doing the most good, could probably be said to have gained the most wisdom. That’s why I love the Bible verse in James. Humility and simple good deeds come from wisdom. That’s the kind of wisdom and humility that I want to have in my own life. I hope you do too.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12
This Bible verse is really interesting for a number of different reasons. Psalm 90 was actually written by Moses, the only one Moses wrote. Secondly, I find it really interesting that Moses says that we ought to gain a heart of wisdom. Wisdom is often a character trait that we associate with the mind. But here, Moses advises us to number our days that our hearts may become wise. That’s really interesting to me. It raises a lot of questions. What’s the difference between a mind of wisdom and a heart of wisdom? And how does numbering our days make our hearts wise? To me, this Bible verse goes along well with another verse I quoted earlier.
“For death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2
Realizing that life is short is one of the very first steps to real wisdom. So many people get caught up in things that don’t ever really matter, never realizing that our days are numbered and that those days are few. Realizing that our days are few should give us a drive to make the most of the days we’ve been given. It should motivate us to persevere through difficulty and trials. That to me, is what having a heart of wisdom is all about.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways.” Proverbs 14:8
This Bible verse about wisdom has always really struck me. It seems so simple. Can just thinking about your life and where you fit in the grand scheme really be called prudence and wisdom? But everyone does that, don’t they? Or do they? Who among us takes the time out of their busy lives to just sit down and think about their lives. Most of us get so busy with the mundane day to day, that we never really stop and think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. Something that my favorite author, Henry David Thoreau, once said, goes along well with this verse. He said, “We ought to be men first and citizens afterward.” I agree with him. Before I just go off to be a productive member of society, working for 40 years at a job and buying a nice home, shouldn’t I spend some time thinking about what it really means to be a man, and how to live my life in a way that I can be proud of?
Because of Solomon’s words in the verse above, I often try and take time to just sit down and think about my ways. I like to know that I’m living intentionally, that I’m not just doing what I have to to survive, but that I’m really trying to become a better man and live a life that I can be proud of. I hope this Bible verse inspires you to take some time out of your busy day and just reflect on your life as a whole and where you really fit in in the grand scheme of life. You won’t be sorry you did.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
This is an often quoted Bible verse about wisdom. I’ve often thought about this passage and have done my fair share of asking for wisdom. It’s so cool that a promise like this exists in the Bible. There aren’t any other character traits that I know of that the Lord has said to expressly ask for and it will be given. It doesn’t say anywhere else in the Bible, ask for patience and it will be given to you, or ask for perseverance and it will be given to you. It’s really quite amazing that God wants to give wisdom to all who ask, because the Bible says that wisdom is the supreme virtue. If you read the last post on wisdom, you saw that Solomon said that nothing you desire can compare with wisdom.
I love how accessible God makes wisdom. All we have to do is ask. This is really relieving to me, because wisdom often seems like a virtue that’s out of reach. When I consider my life and how I often live, wisdom seems like something that’s far off. But that’s why I take such comfort in the verse from James. If I ever get down on myself that I’m not a very wise person, all I have to do is ask God and He will give it to me. All He requires is that I eagerly desire it and that I believe that He’ll give it to me and not doubt.
“For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 8:11
This Bible verse about wisdom astonishes me. It’s essentially saying that the greatest thing a person can desire is wisdom. That’s very surprising to me at first glance. I would have expected that the utmost thing a person could desire would be something like loving relationships with God and with others. But then it struck me that wisdom is really a path to every other good thing in life. A truly wise person naturally has healthy and loving relationships with other people. They realize that simple worldly pleasures, selfish ambitions, and all the other things that corrupt us and stand in the way of becoming the people we were meant to be. Truly wise people desire all other good things, things like peace, contentment, and love. That is, to me, why wisdom is the utmost thing that a person can desire, because wisdom is a gateway to all other good things a person can desire. Without wisdom we are fools, getting trapped by foolish desires that won’t ever bring us to the happiness, satisfaction, and meaning we thought we’d one day find. Without wisdom, can we ever really desire things like peace and love and contentment? Without wisdom, how can we ever overcome the selfish desires that so often come to trap us? Nothing you desire can compare with wisdom.