“When we learn from the past, we can become more like Christ.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 5, 2021
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. Proverbs 4:5-6
I’m in midlife which is that time when people often look back and think, “Wow! I could have totally done that differently. I could have made some better choices.” With this reflection, I’ve been thinking about wisdom, how we get it and what it is.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, wisdom has to do with the soundness of an action or decision. Makes sense, right? Wisdom is when you make good choices—and I imagine that most of us could do a little more of that.
But where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God because He is the author of all that is. He made it all, so He knows how everything that concerns you is supposed to work. Okay, but how do you get wisdom?
Here are 3 practical ways to get the wisdom that God says will preserve your life.
First, listen to God. God is the source of all wisdom. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. . .” Listening for the Lord’s wisdom happens when we spend time in His Word and quiet ourselves so we can hear the Holy Spirit. Leaning on our own wisdom will lead us astray but listening to God brings life. Can you imagine what jewels of wisdom you could receive this week by quieting yourself in His presence?
Next, listen to wise people. When I think about the people I know in my life, there are several I consider to be wise. These people are gracious in their speech, thoughtful in their interactions with others, shrewd in how they handle difficult personal situations, calm in crisis, mature in their financial choices, loving, trustworthy, and they have a genuine relationship with Jesus.
One wise woman mentored me when I was in my twenties, and I learned from her just by spending time with her. Do you know someone who is wise? Reach out to them and ask them to spend time with you so you can learn from them, too.
Listen to your circumstances. When I think about the past, I am grateful for what I have learned, not in spite of my failures, but because of them. My failure has been a good teacher to create greater wisdom in me. Without many painful experiences, I wouldn’t have grown, although I still have a lot to learn.
That said, it’s not guaranteed that difficult circumstances will create wisdom in us. Instead, it’s listening to our difficult circumstances that create wisdom. Without looking back, our failures can produce little fruit. But when we reflect on what happened, they can prevent us from making the same mistakes again. The person who does not learn is the person who is bound to repeat the same errors. But when we learn from the past, we can become more like Christ.
Finally, do what you heard. Once you have listened to God, listened to wise people, and listened to your circumstances, it’s time to put into practice what you learned. When knowledge becomes action, that’s true wisdom.
Maybe as you look back at your life, you see where you could have made some better, wiser choices. In closing, let me encourage you . . . wisdom is something people grow into. It’s not something we have when we are born.
Even Christ grew in wisdom. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” If you’re beating yourself up for “not getting it right the first time,” give yourself grace. Wisdom is something God wants to give His children and it’s something they grow in, just like Christ.
Since God became man and felt the limitations of being human, He knows what it’s like to grow in wisdom too.
“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” (James 1:5).
Lord, thank you that all wisdom comes from you and that you are willing to give me wisdom. Help me to listen so that I can learn your ways and become more like you. Amen.
Reach out to someone who is wise and ask them if you can take them to lunch. Ask them questions about how to live a wise life; listen to them, and then afterward, write down what you learned.
Marvin Sapp: You Are God Alone
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