What is Wisdom?

In today’s day and age it is easy to look around us at the world and at the choices that people make and ask: what is wisdom? As Christians we should have a desire to know what wisdom is in light of our salvation… is our wisdom the same as the worlds or is there more to it than that? Why is wisdom or being wise important? A better question is: how should wisdom apply to us as believers, and us as a “Kingdom of God” or church? Let’s think together about Christian Wisdom.

Some say wisdom increases with age and I would say that is mostly correct… but they definitely don’t go hand –in-hand. You can be old and unwise. Experience may increase with age, but wisdom may not!

Ruth Younts says that,

Christian wisdom is knowing and understanding the truth, obeying the truth, and making decisions based on the truth. Wisdom helps you be more like Jesus in your actions, thoughts and attitudes, by loving God and your neighbor.

I would go even farther and say that living wisely means receiving power from God to live and act as God designed us to live and act.

Believe it or not, we were all designed to live wisely. We need to understand that God has created an order, after understanding this we must recognize that created order, and live in a way that coincides with that created order. In other words, God created human beings to function in certain ways within the world He has created.

Wisdom is more than knowledge… it includes action as well.

Just to know what to do isn’t wise if you don’t do it! I think we see that a lot nowadays in our culture. Our practices get more and more unwise with what is popular or “cool.” Any individual could look at illegal drugs and say, “the decision to take or do that is stupid” but people still do it anyways. Sin ultimately is unwise, but for some reason after the fall we continue to do it and to take part in it willingly.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Being wise means honoring God with our actions.

In Scripture we see a story of “wisdom” gathered from the wrong places. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba who became king of Israel after David died. Solomon asked God for wisdom and was given it in 1 Kings 3 and he built a temple and dedicated it to God. However, his many foreign wives and perhaps his great wealth and public acclaim turned his heart away from God. To many Solomon would look wise and like he had it all… but he was not wise according to God’s standards. Ultimately, for Solomon, being wise in the ways of the world turned out to be a spiritual handicap. The lesson we get from Solomon, especially in Ecclesiastes 1 & 2, is this: all human wisdom is in vain. Without God, “all is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 1:12 -18 says,

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

We can even say that wisdom comes down to vision. Our wisdom can be defined by seeing life horizontally. This means looking to God instead of ourselves, and I think Solomon would agree! We know that God holds the answers to all things. Instead, often we try to lean on ourselves and our own knowledge or experiences and that is very unwise. It would be like a high school basketball player looking to their washed up dad for 3 point shooting advice while Steph Curry stood on the sideline. It makes no sense!

Everyday faith is wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the LORD. God can use wisdom as a way of maturing and sanctifying us, and when we go against wisdom we go against God because He is all wisdom. The source of wisdom is God. Wisdom leads us to God through Christ Jesus. We can be wise by trusting in God even when we don’t see or recognize His work, because we know that faith is more than just living by the things that we see. In the end, wisdom looks like Christ because He is the wisdom of God.

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