The Way of Wisdom

It's not uncommon for my church family to ask me how they can pray for me. I usually answer, "Wisdom. I need wisdom to lead this great family."  When we think of wisdom, what comes to mind? What do we picture?

When I hear the word wisdom, what comes to my mind is James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." [1]  Please note a few observations from this powerful statement from James:

1. We lack wisdom. In a culture that values intellectualism, knowledge acquisition and problem-solving, we are experiencing a lack with the limited knowledge and wisdom we possess. We can send men to the moon. We can explore the human gene. We can cure diseases. We can build weapons that obliterate the earth many times over. We can study the human brain. We can invent devices that keep us globally connected. We can accomplish many wonderful and glorious things with the power of knowledge, intellect and innovation; yet we have failed to discover how we can remove hate from the human heart, how we can remove racism from the human soul or how we can remove injustice from the earth. As a people, we are stubborn and we pride ourselves with what we can get done, but our pride can't admit our lack. If we as humans lack, then we as humans are not at the top of the "food chain". There must be something or someone "out there". Humility though, inspires thinking of others first and knows that if we lack wisdom, we can't show up in the human story and serve others with life, health, vigor and vision. I believe that intellect is a powerful gift from God and one that should be harnessed to its maximum potential. However, intellect becomes foolish if it seeks to replace God. Genesis 1:28-30 describes to us that intellect is meant to help us explore the unfathomable riches of God and to harness His wisdom through human expression for life-giving stewardship, leadership and governance.

2. God has wisdom. We live in a post-postmodern age, so why turn to God? Many view God as authoritative, distant and disinterested. So if I need wisdom why would I ask God? Yet, we are learning that the depth of human intellect and knowledge is not deep enough to mine the answers we need for today's challenges. God has wisdom and we should in all humility, turn to Him and ask. He gives generously to ALL who ask, without finding fault. How does He give wisdom?  Here are a few ways:

  1. Prayer - He speaks to us and gives us wisdom.
  2. The Bible - He gives us these inspired letters to provide what we need.
  3. Experience - We can learn from past failures and successes.
  4. Community - Wisdom can be found in a group of people who are bringing their own experience, bible knowledge, encounters with God and perspectives from which we can learn.
  5. Resources - I'm talking about books, blogs, podcasts, etc... (i.e.) leveraging the synergy of the digital revolution and the information age.

3. God gives generously. God is generous. Here are two bible verses to support that claim.

First, in Genesis 1:28-30, "God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so." [1] God gave them the earth as their possession to steward.

Second, in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." [1] God gave His son!

(Please don't read any further yet. Take 5-10 minutes to meditate upon that reality.)

God is a father who gives generously. He likes to prosper His creation. If you take a closer look at the passage from Genesis, you will find that God puts a "seed" within all of creation so that it will naturally reproduce and provide enough for mankind. God's provision is self-generating. Therefore, His generosity is not a "one time" generous gesture, but it is a seed intended to keep on producing, thus we have multi-generational generosity.

4. God gives wisdom without finding fault. Sometimes when people are in a jam, we don't give them what they need because we want them to "learn" their lesson. Sometimes that is wise. But, when we ask God for wisdom, He does not look at us and blame us for our need, and does not withhold wisdom from us. Nor does He blame us for the poor and unwise decisions that we made. Our need for wisdom may be innocent or it may be the result of our foolishness. In either case, He gives wisdom generously to all, without finding fault.  

To summarize - Our wisdom is limited and therefore we should ASK the One who is Wisdom and He will give it to us generously and freely.



[1] Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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