The challenge we all face every day is confronting the things we can change and making the right decisions about those changes. Life comes down to wise or foolish decisions. Bought a car you wish you’d never bought? Entered into a relationship you wish you had avoided? Accepted a job you wish you’d never taken? Are you building your faith in Christ upon rock or sand?
Hindsight’s a great thing we can all look back and see where we made both good and poor decisions. A wise man learns by the experience of others. An ordinary man learns by his own experience. A fool learns by nobody’s experience. Wisdom is a strange thing. There’s the wisdom of the world and a wisdom that comes from God. Which is influencing us today?
What’s the wisest decision you have made last week? How about yesterday? How do you know it was wise? Wisdom is not always caution or cleverness. It’s not even knowledge. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad!! Knowledge is knowing you can hit a 7-iron 150 yards. Wisdom is taking a 6-iron when it’s over water and into the wind!! If our faith foundations are solid then to seek and use God’s wisdom for every decision is imperative. All we need do is ask: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (Js.1:5).
We are living in a world that is awash with knowledge, but thirsty for wisdom. Many people know a great deal. But the wisdom of the world wants nothing to do with God. Yet “fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge” (Pr.1:7). There is a benefit to following heavenly wisdom rather than worldly wisdom. It brings a blessing from God and a harvest of righteousness.
We’re introduced to King Solomon in 2 Chronicles. Now a king, or any leader for that matter, needs to make wise decisions. Solomon was just 20 years old when he had his coronation. He hasn’t sorted anything out yet, made no government appointments, hasn’t chosen his furniture and is still riding high on his new position. In vs.7 of ch.1 the Lord appears to him, offering him an incredible opportunity: “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
The Good Lord always relates to His people on a personal level and equips them to complete His purpose. Having grown up in the royal court Solomon was highly educated, his earthly position was rich and powerful, but listen to his reply:S“O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” (vs.9-10).
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Js.4:6). Humble dependence upon God is the foundation of wisdom. If God were to put the same question to you, as He did to Solomon, what would you ask for? It’s basically a blank cheque, your wishes could come true! Long life, wealth, big house, designer clothing and expensive jewelry. Ok so Solomon had these things but the love of money, prestige and power can so easily corrupt. He could also have asked for the death of his enemies. Instead, he asks the One True God for a wise and understanding heart to be a good king for the people.
Solomon went on to become the writer of Proverbs, which is really a letter on how to live a life of wisdom. He advises us to cry out for insight: “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.” (Pr.2:6-7).
Wisdom connects us to God. Solomon recognises he could ask for anything but he makes a decision that in turn makes him a great king. He asked His Maker to make him wise enough to live the right sort of life, because he realises he does not have what it takes to make the wise decisions a king must make. He understood that the Good Lord grants us wisdom not so we can show how much we know but so we can be an example to others living by God’s Word.
When we value what God values we are on the path to wisdom. Fools do not seek wisdom because they do not place any value on it. An egotistical person would ask for fame; a materialistic person would ask for wealth; an ambitious person would ask for power; a bitter person would ask for revenge. Often we make bad decisions and cause heartache, stress and worry because we refuse to admit we need to follow the Bible’s advice.
So, to make a wise decision we must first admit that we can’t. “Give me the wisdom and the knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” – is Solomon’s response. (v.10). The order of these words is important. We can have a lot of knowledge and a little wisdom, but if we have a lot of wisdom we have a lot of knowledge.
It is important that we seek God’s wisdom for every decision we make, no matter how small it seems to us. Anytime we want wisdom we can ask for it. We don’t have to be a king to ask for it. We can do what Solomon did. We can ask for something bigger than fame, wealth, power or popularity. We’re promised the same as Solomon.
We can read his proverbs to see that wisdom is seeing life through God’s eyes and living life in the will of God. Immersing ourselves in God’s Word daily is crucial for making wise decisions – it’s the daily bread for our soul. Knowing the Bible helps us make decisions that daily impact upon our health and happiness, how we manage our time, how we handle money and how we deal with temptation.
When we make poor choices we reap the consequences, but wisdom teaches us the lesson before we make the mistake!
The Bristol suspension bridge is an incredible feat of engineering. Spanning the Avon Gorge it opened in 1864. The iron chains and vertical suspension rods supporting the bridge connect to the two towers either side. The secret to the stability of Brunel’s impressive structure is found underneath the towers with the massive foundations carved into the rock. Four million vehicle cross the bridge every year. It’s safe because its foundations are solid. That wasn’t the case of the 50 year old Morandi Bridge in Genoa that collapsed during torrential rain back in August. Restructuring work was being done to enforce the bridge’s foundations at the time. Sadly, there were 37 fatalities.
Examples of good and bad foundations – and Jesus says: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is WISE, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Mt.7:24). When we live according to the Lord’s principles of wisdom, we establish the firmest foundation for our lives and so many wonderful benefits will follow as a result.
So let’s seek the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we may live in His wisdom and reap His blessing.