I don't know if you have this ...
but I want it.
I am smitten by the notion of wisdom.
Why? Well, that takes a little unpacking. Socrates, who lived from 470 B.C. - 399 B.C., was purported to have said 'the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.' I don't buy that actually, unless it is in comparison to the overall scope of what can be known. Regarding wisdom, I find the whole notion of Lady Wisdom interesting . . . her various angles compelling and intriguing.
One author penned, 'at one point in my life, I thought the stories of intelligent men who devoted their lives to the pursuit of wisdom and glory transcended the limits of human understanding and showed the best of human abilities. I was wrong. I had the chance to read the lives of several artists and writers and was inspired by their accomplishment. Yet, I was discouraged by their own plot, which they did not have the power to recreate or alter.
Then I asked, what was their wisdom for? If such wisdom would push an artist to kill himself, (did you know Van Gogh was just 37 years old when he put a gun to his stomach and pulled the trigger?) If such wisdom would lead a writer to become a hermit, or a philosopher to despise his neighbors, then what good was that wisdom?1
And as for Socrates, why didn't he heed Solomon's words some 500 years earlier? Solomon unequivocally stated the source of true wisdom: For the Lord gives wisdom, & from his mouth come knowledge and understanding...2 Real wisdom comes from God; the world offers only counterfeit.
True wisdom emanates from the heart of God-it is not like intellectual or academic wisdom because it is not prideful or puffed up. The amazing thing about it is that we do not have to take classes in it or keep searching for the latest cultural iteration of it ... wisdom can be had by asking God for it. And God will give generously. From our Lord's brother, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."3 A little further into his book, James expounds on the nature of God's wisdom: But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.4
If we seek to know God, his wisdom, his directions and plans for us, we will be wise-through studying his Word, (which takes discipline, I might add), and communing with him. The wisdom of the world can never replace the wisdom of God.
How do we understand this wisdom to make it our own?
The scope of wisdom includes these six elements:
>understanding - what is true, right, lasting >discretion - the ability to decide responsibly >prudence - wise in handling practical matters, exercising good judgment, common sense, careful about one's conduct >discernment - keen insight >knowledge - the sum of scholarly learning through the ages; wise teachings of the ancient sages >action - exercising discretion, prudence, discernment in choosing a course of action for ourselves
Because we lack it, let us purpose to daily meet with God, first thing. And be sure to pray and ask God for wisdom. He promises to give it to us. Amen.
2 - Proverbs 2.16
3 - James 1.5
4 - James 3.17