Asking for wisdom – a command
A person who is mature and complete has wisdom, and we are told to get wisdom! We are also to get understanding. We get these from experience and by asking and receiving from God. The wisest man who ever lived did just that when he was young, inexperienced, and afraid.
Seeking for wisdom
The beginning of wisdom is recognizing that we don’t know everything, and that we are lacking! Solomon sought for wisdom when he first became king. He had no experience as a king, but he obtained wisdom. That is because God asked him what he wanted, and Solomon said:
You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You . . . and You have given him a son to sit on his throne . . . . Now, O Lord my God, . . . I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 . . . 9 Therefore give to Your servant an [b]understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
God was pleased with his request and granted him so much more than he asked. He said:
I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
God gave wisdom to Solomon because he asked for wisdom. Scripture tells us that if we lack wisdom, we need to ask, and He will give it to us generously.
There are other ways to obtain wisdom because God does not always hand it to us on a platter. We can’t just reach out and take a dose of wisdom to fill our daily quotient.
Where wisdom is found
- Experience. As we experience life, we make decisions. The consequences of our decisions help us understand when we have done wrong and when we have done right. Remembering gives us experience and wisdom.
- The Holy Spirit. It’s true that the Spirit works in our hearts and nudges us when it is time to do the right thing. Sometimes the Spirit nudges us to prevent us from doing something wrong. We must learn to hear that nudge and to respond accordingly.
- The Word. Proverbs is filled with instructions on how to live, how to talk, and how to act. If we take the time to search the scriptures, many times we will be given just what we need for the moment. It does not happen by osmosis, and it does not happen by reading a few verses a day. We need to search scriptures that deal with the conflict we are experiencing. Do you struggle with honesty, with lust, coveting, or greed? There is scripture to direct you for any of these. Do you take the time to search and find it?
- Other people. There are so many voices around us, telling us what to do. Charisma and a following does not guarantee that a person is filled with wisdom. We need to be careful in choosing who we follow, what we read, and where we go to find our moorings. Anyone we “follow” must be grounded in Scripture. Are we like the Bereans who studied what they were taught to see if it aligned with Scripture, or do we blindly follow someone because we like how they talk, what they do, how large a following they have, or because they make us feel good?
What to do with wisdom
Truth be told, sometimes we already know what to do and how we ought to do it. We already know how to live, but we feign innocence so that we don’t need to follow through. Wisdom does us no good if we do not use it. An unused muscle becomes weak and lazy. To be strong in the Lord, we must flex that wisdom muscle and use it to encourage others and to live right ourselves.
We must choose if we will use wisdom or disregard it. The easy way is to do life our way; but the way of wisdom is to follow the course set before us- follow in the footsteps of Jesus. It’s that easy – and that hard.