Monday, August 24, 2009

Pursuing Wisdom: Wisdom-Givers

All of us have wisdom-givers in our lives, people who share God’s truth with us. One of these in my life was Granddaddy Lemon. I recall how he guided me during those times when I was listening, and how he scolded me during those times when I wasn’t. He never let a scolding go by without letting me know that he loved me. Sometimes I thought that Granddad didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. But he always knew far better than I did. He taught me how to think problems through. He taught me how to rely on the gifts God gave me. Granddad loved me so much—and then he was gone.

What do we do when our wisdom-givers leave us? How do we cope with life, when they’re gone? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about wisdom. What is this “wisdom” that they impart, anyway? How do we find it on our own? The story of Solomon gives us some clues, as he pursued wisdom after his father’s death

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow offers the following characteristics of wisdom:

• Seeing things clearly
• Acting prudently
• Acting holistically
• Understanding human condition
• Knowing when to act and when not to act
• Having peace of mind & compassion
• Possessing the ability to anticipate & avoid problems

If we want to possess these characteristics, what prerequisites must we first meet? What are there conditions we must fulfill within ourselves, before we are ready for the wisdom that God wants to give us? 1 Kings 3:3 says, “Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.”

First, Solomon demonstrated his love for the Lord. Rather than simply saying that he loved God, he showed it. He displayed his love for God in the way he lived, and by the extravagant offerings he gave to God. If you want wisdom more than anything else, you must first seek God more than anything else.

Then, he walked according to the instructions of his father. Later, in Proverbs 13, he would write, “A wise child heeds a parent's instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.” He did not neglect the example and advice given him by his father, who said, “Be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go (1 Kings 2:2-3).” Nobody can possibly gain wisdom If they reject sound teaching. If you want understanding in your life, start with those insights passed down to you from your parents. It’s likely they won’t let you down.

Next week, we will look at two more requirements for the person who would seek wisdom in his or her life. I hope you will join me for the adventure in God’s wisdom.

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