How do you define wisdom?
Webster's dictionary defines it as "accumulated learning; good sense".
dictionary.com has a broader definition: the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight
In other words, wisdom is the knowledge of what's right and the good sense to do it.
When our children were growing up I defined wisdom for them as thinking God's way. As we learn to think God's way we gain knowledge of what's right and are able to use the good sense He gave us to do what's right.
What must we do to think God's way?
To think God's way we must first know God's mind. The only way to know God's mind is to know His Word.
In Deuteronomy 6 Moses is calling the nation of Israel to wholehearted commitment to God. In verses, 5-8 wisdom is linked to obedience to God's word.
"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders." NLT
Linking wisdom with obedience to God's Word fits right in with our definition. But how do we learn God's Word? These verses from Deuteronomy give us a great foundation.
First, we are to listen to them. This means we read the Word for ourselves, using our spiritual ears to hear what God is saying and allow it to settle into our hearts. We can't speed through our reading of God's Word without truly listening to what He is saying through it. The writer of Hebrews tells us:
"For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 AMP
Thinking God's way requires listening to His Word.
Second, we repeat the Word. Yes, this passage in Deuteronomy applies to our parenting, but it also applies to our personal growth. In order to truly know God's Word we must repeat it to ourselves through daily study. Paul told Timothy:
"All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God's will, both publicly and privately - behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]..." 2 Timothy 2:16
Thinking God's way requires deep study of His Word.
Third, we tie God's Word to our hands and wear them on our heads as reminders. We do this through memorization.
David declared in Psalm 119:11
"I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
Thinking God's way requires memorizing His Word.
As we listen to God's Word, study it, and memorize it we grow in our knowledge of what's right. James tells us in James 1:5:
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." NKJV
In 1 Kings 3:5-10 we have an example of someone who did ask God for wisdom. When he became king, Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord. God appeared to Solomon in a dream beckoning him: "Ask! What shall I give you?" (verse 5)
Solomon asked God for wisdom and God honored his selfless request. As a result, Solomon is known as one of the wisest men who ever lived. Through him, God gave us the book of Proverbs which is chock full of practical wisdom. Some of the things Proverbs teaches us about thinking God's way:
When we think God's way we know how to act and speak in different situations.
When we think God's way we exhibit emotional maturity, restraint, and the ability to think before we speak.
When we think God's way we have the ability to walk through life's ups and downs successfully.
We all need wisdom in these difficult days.
Will you ask God for wisdom?
How can you begin today to think God's way?
"Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight." Proverbs 9:9-10
Until next time keep gathering manna, growing deeper, and gaining intimacy!
May God bless and keep you,