A possibility was presented to me. A myriad of thoughts swirled in my head. What would I do? What were my options? What choice would I make in the end? It was so completely out of the blue that I could not see it coming. I consulted people who knew me. People with wisdom on their side. With prayer and their thoughts taken into a consideration, a decision was reached. I had peace and calm in the midst of mental turmoil.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. Psalm 111:10 (NIV)
Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord. Those who obey his orders have good understanding. He should be praised forever. Psalm 111:10 (ICB)
The good life begins in the fear of God – Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever! Psalm 111:10 (MSG)
Knowledge intrigues me. Facts and figures filed away for future reference. Some of it is completely random and trivial. Some of it is life shaping – decisions based on certain precepts for living life. Some of it is the “wisdom” of the moment. A fad that has found footing.
Wisdom is different than knowledge. Some people know a lot of facts but struggle to implement what they know. It’s more than knowledge, but it uses knowledge in powerful ways. One dictionary I looked at defined wisdom as “keen insight into life and ways of dealing with its problems.”
There are so many decisions that occur within a day. Most of them I just gloss over as not important. When to get up. What to eat. What to wear. When to leave. When to return home. What to bring home to finish. When to go to bed. None of these is significant on its own. But taken cumulatively, they can help determine the success of a day. Living a wise life is more than just the ability to make choices. Keen insight implies determining what is important and going after it. There is also a thoroughness and thoughtfulness that accompanies important decisions. There is also the reality and the joy of walking with God through and in all of it. He does not want me to choose in isolation but has given me a community to walk the journey of life with. I am so grateful for their counsel. It influences me at every turn. Guiding conversation, asking leading questions, reminding me of truth that I know but sometimes neglect, praying over and for me. Their wisdom shores up my wisdom and helps it grow.
But wisdom does not start with these sages who grace my life. Wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord. That deep reverence and respect. The acknowledgement that He is so far beyond my understanding. The truth that I will never understand all He is doing and what He is up to. The reality that if I could explain Him, He would not be that big and then why would I need Him at all? The beauty and mystery that is faith which defies explanation but is all encompassing. Wisdom starts with my God. Developing a friendship with Him. Knowing Him. Walking with Him. Conversing with Him. Living life from His perspective. Trusting Him to act on His good and perfect will. Yielding my choices and decisions – big through small – to Him. Choosing Him over other things. Basking in His presence. All wisdom is found in my God.
Wisdom definition from:
C. H. Bullock, An Introduction to the Old Testament Poetic Books; J. L. Crenshaw, Old Testament Wisdom; J. H. Walton, Ancient Israelite Literature and Its Cultural Context.
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.