The definition of wisdom is, “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.”
“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed." (Proverbs 3:13-18)
I have been privileged to be in a bible study this summer with my sister and some sweet friends. We have been learning a lot about wisdom and what it means for us as followers of Christ. This week, the subject of gaining wisdom has been heavily on my heart. Of course I want to be “wise,” who doesn’t? How do I gain wisdom? The big, convicting question is, where am I seeking and searching for wisdom? From God’s Word or from this world?
In this study, I have been learning a lot about Proverbs and how it was written. Although “wisdom” is personified as a woman in the book of Proverbs and the passage written above, it is a body of principles, not an actual woman. It is portrayed as a human to give us a vivid picture of the principles that we should all (gals and guys) be striving after as followers of Christ.
So, how do we gain wisdom? Well, let’s go back to the One that created all wisdom and knowledge. First of all, Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” You may be thinking, “what does fearing the Lord have to do with wisdom?” Fearing God means that we have a reverential respect for God and His standards for us, based on our knowledge that God is the One and only God. As we are respecting His authority and trusting that His standards are purposeful for our lives as believers, we are able to grow in wisdom.
Secondly, we must be diligently seeking His Word for true wisdom and knowledge. Do I faithfully study God’s Word every day? No. Friends, it is SO hard to be in His Word daily, but we must do it. God has given us His Word as the most powerful tool on earth. The bible is meant to reveal, convict, teach, and grow us in so many ways. It is our essential instruction manual for life. We have to trust that He has given us this book for a reason. As we dwell on the words He has given us in the Bible, we will be walking in godly wisdom.
Apart from God’s Word, we begin to dabble on the shore of worldly wisdom, and will eventually find ourselves drowning in the sea of folly. Folly is the lack of good sense or foolishness, and comes as a result of following after this world. James 3:13-17 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 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.” As we stray away from God’s word and instead start listening to the “wisdom” that comes from this broken world, we will find ourselves in a very dangerous place.
Finally, we must surround ourselves with other followers of Christ that are looking to the Lord and His Word for wisdom. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” We need to seek relationships with people that will not be afraid to encourage us in godly wisdom. We can’t do this life on our own, and we will fail daily at walking in wisdom. Instead of being discouraged, may we be encouraged that the God of all wisdom is also a God of grace and ultimately, may we ask Him to guide us, teach us, and lead us as we are on this journey of growing in wisdom.