Wisdom is Rare. Share Some of Yours With Us!

“Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!” (Proverbs 3:4-5, NIV).

Taught and Caught

Make a quick mental list of things important to you that were taught to you by someone else. The obvious things like reading, riding a bike, swimming, and driving a car come to mind… And then there are the subtle things like manners, values, appreciation, and humility: undoubtedly some aspect of all of those skills or behavior was taught to you by someone else. Having teachers makes an AMAZING difference in the quality of our lives, in our ability to solve problems, and in the opportunities that life brings our way. Say a quick prayer of thanksgiving for the people who have taught you the things you value the most.

wisdom to share

Then think of what Solomon said: Apparently wisdom and understanding can be readily acquired—anybody can get them. And yet they seem to be in short supply all around us. It’s surprising that something so available to anyone can be so rare.

Voltaire said (and he’s been quoted by many ever since) “The thing about common sense is that it is not so common.” The same can be said about wisdom. While understanding involves learning the details and being able to grasp subject matter or content, Wisdom is a little more complex. It involves being able to apply that learning in a useful way.

Commonly Uncommon

Wisdom is mentioned 222 times in the Old Testament, and Jewish rabbis regarded it as a virtue emanating from God’s character. It seasons the Hebrew Scriptures with exhortations and advice given for our benefit. If you look at wisdom a little bit closer, I think you’ll find a strong connection to the New Testament as well.

In Proverbs 8:22, Wisdom says, ““From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.” He describes being present for all of creation, and says, “Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.” (Verses 30 and 31)

Connecting the Dots…

Hmmm… Wisdom was there from everlasting, from the beginning, was a master workman in creation, and delighted in the sons of men. John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him…” To me, Wisdom sounds perfectly interchangeable with the Word. The Word=Jesus=Wisdom.

Perhaps one of the reasons that wisdom seems so rare in our world today is that not very many people recognize its source or follow its teaching. How about you? What wise thing have you acquired lately? And what wisdom have you passed on to somebody else? Any of you have some wisdom you’d be willing to share? Think of your best wise saying and post it here! I’m serious! Write a reply and post your favorite verse or pithy saying!

Do you have a life verse? Mine is 1 Corinthians 8:2-3. (You can look it up)

Share Yours– Leave A Comment Today!!

How does wisdom come to be? The Bible offers it for free,
And says that it can be acquired by anybody so inspired.
If we just had a Holy Book where we could read and take a look
And gain the wisdom of the ages written there upon the pages!
There is a Book that you can read where wisdom gained is guaranteed,
Whose timeless truths will make you wise if you will exercise your eyes…
If you gain some wisdom there, then take a little time to share!
Just write for us a little note to share your favorite verse or quote:
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To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread

Counsel and Wisdom: Better Be Careful with that Bucket!

The Bible has a few things to say about counsel, the act of getting prudent advice before making final decisions: “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:5, NKJV) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15, NKJV) “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out“. (Proverbs 20:5, NKJV)

counsel deep

Counsel not Council

The word “counsel” is used a number of times in the Old Testament, and it is an interesting term. It sometimes simply means God’s wisdom and direction. It can also refer to resources that provide wisdom or guidance in making decisions, or it is used to describe sage advice. Think for a minute: where do YOU go for wise counsel? Who is it YOU turn to for sage advice?

Here in Proverbs 1:5 and 12:15, it is a noun that means to bind, or to pledge. It comes from the picture of using a rope or a cord on a large animal in order to pull or guide it in the proper direction. Without assistance in steering, an ox could end up plowing crooked rows, or it might wander over into a ditch. So it is with us. Our actions will be more profitable when they are guided by wise counsel.

The Bible says that not only is God a wonderful source of counsel, but so are others who have been blessed with wisdom. There is a godly wisdom that only comes from walking with Him and being invested in His word. But Wisdom can also be practical, attained through life experiences. There is an old saying that “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” I know I have illustrated the last part of that homily many times. Perhaps you have too.

To Whom Would You Turn?

One way to bypass the trial-and-error process is to seek the counsel of someone who is wise, godly, and experienced. Such a person would not offer a knee-jerk response or fire off an emotional email. The word picture in Proverbs 20:5 is instructive because it describes a process for obtaining the kind of counsel that is truly beneficial (like water to a thirsty man in a dry land). It maintains that good counsel doesn’t come quickly or easily; it says that there is effort required to pull the heavy bucket of life-giving water up from the cool depths of the well; and that care needs to be taken with the precious contents so that none of it is wasted…

When Proverbs says, “counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”, WHO do you think of? Chances are that after you have prayed and looked into God’s word for advice, they might be the right person to call when you are making your plans or wrestling with a big decision. Get wise counsel. Make good decisions.

Go to the Well

We all have times we wish for good advice that we could keep.
Proverbs says that counsel is like water, dark and deep;
When facing life decisions, and your heart is full of doubt,
Godly counsel can be there to help you think things out.
Proverbs says a man who thinks he’s right may be a fool,
But in the well, the water’s deep and takes a longer pull:
A man of understanding can provide a bucketful.
Though a fool may see himself as right in his own eyes,
It’s better to seek counsel from a person who is wise;
If you must choose, then I advise you try that on for size.

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread

Behind Enemy Lines: The Great Campaign of Sabotage

Even though it’s not a presidential election year, there are still lots of political campaigns. In fact, there is another kind of campaign going on all around you as well. You may not have noticed it but it is happening. It is a real campaign in a real war, but you may not have heard the sounds of gunfire.

A Different Kind of Campaign

It is a war where we cannot see the enemy. The rich and powerful marginalize the poor and the weak. Misinformation is portrayed as truth, and the enemy has led followers into falsehood presented as fact. A selfish lust for power and money drive the leaders to disregard values and respect. In this campaign, fractious opinions and offenses disseminate division, separating even friends and family. It is, however, a war unlike military conflict. Foolishness reigns while wisdom wanes. Strength and weakness are upside down. From where I sit, the enemy has made huge gains, and many of us are trapped now behind enemy lands… Paul talks about it like this:

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-27 KJV)

The whole story of the gospel sounds improbable. God created heaven and earth. He made earth perfect and full of love, a place where He could walk with man and interact with his creation. He offered a place where man could live in peace and harmony as long as he chose to be obedient. Having fallen, the great deceiver launched a campaign of misinformation to counter God’s offer. Falling in step with the Father of lies, mankind rebelled and set up his own system based on power, greed, and lust.

campaign

Status Quo

Instead of a world free from pain and suffering, man lives in a fallen world whose selfish inhabitants bully, hate, and kill each other. (If you don’t believe that, check your history books, listen to the news, or heck, just offer an opinion on social media.) Those inhabitants have used corruption, money, and brute strength to build their various kingdoms apart from God’s values and authority.

By His very nature God is loving and kind, and stands apart from the campaign of death and destruction that the world pursues… God has offered people opportunities to set themselves apart and return to him– but Man, with his logic and pride, figured he could earn his way back to heaven by works, and force God to take him back on his own merits.

The Logical Solution that Defies Logic

The Creator (knowing what was truly required to satisfy Righteous Judgment) had a different plan. Instead of retaking the world by force, He opted to take it back by using mere love. God entered the world in the form of a tiny, helpless infant who alone could pay the price for man’s rebellion and offer peace and salvation.

God did not force rebels to receive Him, but allowed (and still allows) man to find and accept Him by faith. The catch is that man must relinquish his independence by faith in order to allow God to empower his spiritual self in the midst of a carnal world. Man’s very nature tries to sabotage that spiritual self, using that same carnal world to lure him into lesser things.

So, God sent His Son into a rebellious, deadly kingdom ruled by selfishness, pride, and power and offered instead love, humility, and service. He chose to confound men’s wisdom with seeming foolishness, and men’s power with what seemed like weakness. Depravity exercised its muscle in this earthly kingdom in the form of despots and dictators who rule by using violence and intimidation. Jesus came to earth and taught that men should serve to lead and humble themselves in order to be exalted.

Time for Sabotage

C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in His great campaign of sabotage.” Saboteurs resist the status quo, refusing to buy in to the world’s power structures, the things that men celebrate, and the short-sighted goals of the carnal mentality.

If there is indeed a God, then there is a different set of values and an eternal timetable. There is a spiritual world available to men in the midst of the world of carnal power. If Jesus is who he said he is, then all Christians are living as part of the resistance behind enemy lines. The question is this: Which side are you on? You are either living behind enemy lines, offering alternatives to force, hatred, power, and pride, or you ARE the enemy. Read that last statement again.
Beware, and choose wisely.

Behind Enemy Lines

God has chosen foolish things to contradict the wise,
Confounding both the mighty and the strong.
God has used invisible power right before our eyes,
And asked the world of men to come along.
But things that men have celebrated are not really consecrated:
Things the world will seek go to the strong, and not the meek!
The weakness is, the wise won't speak of spirit which it deems as weak;
The outlook here is getting bleak, with escalating danger...
The world of men's conceit will hold that there is nothing stranger
Than God investing mankind's hope into a rustic manger,
And somehow turning that into a history re-arranger.

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread