An Invitation for True Knowledge and Wisdom

My in-laws told a story set in the not-too-distant past where people they knew used to brag about the drinking competitions they engaged in during  lunch, at work. The ‘competitors’ were quite proud of their ability to guzzle down as much alcohol as they could; however, that was not the end of the story. Many of them received warnings by their managers about this practice; some lost their jobs; and sadly, a few others even lost their families.
An Invitation for True Knowledge and Wisdom
I marvelled at the self-inflicted tragedies, although the story was  supposed to be funny. At the end of the tale, I couldn’t help but remark, “There’s only one word to describe a person who would consider joining such a game.” 

The storyteller looked at me intently and asked, “And what’s that?”

“Fool!” I responded.  

Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.” (Prov 13:16, NLT) 

Many of us desire successful lives. We are hungry to know more, to make better decisions. But what exactly are we really asking for? What is knowledge or wisdom? Where does it come from?

Many Voices

Wisdom is the ability to know what, where, when, how, why, and with whom to engage in any crucial decision-making activity. We as human beings, look high and low for knowledge and wisdom in order to make better choices. We look anywhere and everywhere—to philosophers, psychologists, family members, friends, magazines—the list goes on. 

Some of the answers are similar—some contradictory—others are research-based, and still others (we suspect) are old superstitions. All competing for our attention and declaring to have ‘the secret’ for making the life-fulfilling decisions we seek. Unfortunately, they all have one thing in common: relying on yourself to determine if what you’ve been told is actually wise. 

But if our own personal decision-making abilities are part of our problem, how can we rely on ourselves  to be the solution, or source of determination? 

Herein lies our predicament, as it is written, 

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” (1 Cor 1:19, NLT) 

How to navigate through the maze of many voices is indeed a mystery, but there is one voice that shines like a diamond in the rough—that sheds a light in this area.

The Clearest Voice of Them All

The book of Proverbs personifies wisdom, presenting her as a woman with whom a relationship should be sought. Wisdom is not hidden in a dark corner; she raises her voice openly (Prov 1:21, Prov 8:3). 

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her.” (Prov 3:18)

Since wisdom is readily available how can we engage her? What are the benefits of a relationship with her?

The Key

We are told that if we want to know, perceive, receive, or understand wisdom and desire instructions for making good decisions, there is only one way to begin. The key to this is to fear (or revere) the Lord. This is the beginning of true knowledge (Prov 1:2-7). To fear the Lord is described as hating evil, pride, arrogance, and perversity (Prov 8:13). In this way, you put yourself in a position where you become teachable. You are now humble and open-minded enough to receive wise instruction.

A Delicate Dance

The relationship with wisdom is like a dance that unlocks your heart and your mind, and enables you to take the necessary steps in the right direction. Fuelled by the reverence and attentiveness that you offer the Lord, true wisdom empowers you to avoid the pitfalls that lurk at every turn in life.

If your motivation does not come from honouring the Lord, it’s possible to ignore wisdom’s benefits. The steps in the dance look very much like this: wisdom calls; you search for her; the Lord gives her away; she enters your heart; her ways secure your path. She calls out to everyone to turn themselves towards her—for she will pour her spirit out and make her words known (Prov 1:23). 

If you take up her offer by seeking her with all your heart, then you will find the knowledge of God; because the Lord Himself gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. He is the Source (Prov 2:4-6). When wisdom enters your heart, the understanding she gives you preserves you (Prov 2:10-11). Isn’t this what we‘re looking for: the ability to make life-fulfilling decisions? (Prov 2:12-22). Fortunately, we are shown an even better way…

Wisdom Personified

God has made known the way to wisdom through Jesus, the Messiah. In His first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul says, for anyone who accepts Christ, He is the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24). Elsewhere Paul states, 

I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:2-3, NLT)

Final Appeal

Undeniably, we arrive at God’s ultimate wisdom, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our answer to repairing the damaged relationships, destructive habits, missed opportunities, and any regrets we may have. Your life in His hands is the most moving dance of all. He calls; you answer Him; the Lord gives you His Spirit; He enters your heart; His ways secure your path. As Jesus said, 

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Give your life to Jesus Christ, and by His wisdom, be truly empowered.

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