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25 January 2008

Useless Trivia?

Disclaimer: sometimes I just don't feel like my posts are "all up in yo' face" enough to retain interest from beginning to end. You may find this to be one of those posts, but hopefully not. I believe it has valuable content, but it definitely lacks the off-the-wall stuff that I usually do my best to throw in. The subject just didn't seem to lend itself to that.

The first definition of “wisdom” at dictionary.com (pop-up warning if you click on the link) is “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.” [emphasis mine]

James, speaking to Jewish believers who were going through great difficulty because of their faith, wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NKJV)

It’s interesting that God was so pleased with Solomon’s request for knowledge and wisdom in response to the question, “Ask! What shall I give you?” that God gave him not only incredible wisdom and knowledge, but riches, an accumulation of wealth, and honor, as well. (2 Chronicles 1:7-12)

God apparently places a high priority on wisdom. Many people have a good working knowledge of the Scriptures, but putting the Word into practice in life is sometimes a more daunting task than we may realize. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, 9:10). That's the starting point, but taking the ball and running with it takes something more. We can love God and know lots of Scriptures, but still do goofy things if we lack wisdom.

Wisdom is the bit of stuff in us that happens, for instance, when we see a homeless person asking for food, have pity on him, and want to put the Scriptures into practice by actually helping him instead of hoping that someone else does. If we smell alcohol on his breath, it's probably wiser to actually buy the man some food than to give him money. We have the Scriptures, we have knowledge based on sensory observation, we have the desire to honor God, and we make a wise choice based upon those things.

In many situations I have to ask for wisdom when I know almost all of the facts but struggle with making Godly decisions based upon them. I just don't want to do stupid things, and I've found that a hasty reaction is nearly always the incorrect approach. James told the Jewish believers to "be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." (James 1:19, NLT)

We can have all the knowledge in the world and a caring heart that rivals that of [insert your preferred person of respect here], but if we don't act wisely upon it, all that we have is a bunch of data.

1 comments:

Christy said...

Great post, Dean.

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