Proverbs 2: 1 – 5 “My child, if you will receive my words and hide my commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding; yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God. “
When I was growing up, the adults in my life did not seem to understand the value of wisdom and self-control. There were things happening all around me I should not have been exposed to. I understand they were simply doing the best they could based on the knowledge and understanding they had at the time, but it still affected me deeply during my formative years. When God called me, I wanted so badly to change all those learned bad habits. After all these years, I still struggle. Those behaviours are deeply entrenched in me and I am constantly praying for the wisdom and self-discipline to overcome them. I have a long, hard road ahead of me, but I also have some experience under my belt now. I am not writing this letter to you to chastise you or to admonish you. I am simply telling you the things I wish someone had told me when I was younger. It would have saved me a lot of trouble and heartache. It is out of love for you that I would like to share some of the things that I have learned. I pray you will find value in it and use it to your advantage.
Today, wisdom is seldom found among our younger generations. I mean no disrespect in making that comment, rather, I am stating the facts. As a society, we have recently focused too much energy on attaining personal happiness, that we have forgotten to raise our children to seek wisdom. So, what is wisdom and why is it so valuable?
The definition of wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the soundness of an action or decision regarding the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. To have insight.”
Synonyms: intelligence, sense, prudence, circumspection
All these words imply careful consideration and an unwillingness to take risks when making important decisions. God values wisdom and desires that we seek it as if it were a very valuable hidden treasure. Pro 2:20 “in order that you may walk in the way of good and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.”
Wisdom is one of the gifts God gives to guide us to righteousness and eternal life. However, for people today, it is one of the hardest concepts to grasp. It requires patience, thoughtfulness, prudence, impulse control, and obedience when everything we own and everything we do fosters the exact opposite.
Consider the following:
- Instant and heavily processed food, ready to eat in a few short minutes
- Disposable everything…so we don’t have to wash, re-use or be inconvenienced
- Video games and TV shows that move a mile a minute and often include inappropriate behaviour and language
- Internet and smartphones that offer instant gratification and purchases on a whim
- Informality in every area of authority and government. (Schools, churches, politics, and community. We have given up structure in favour of familiarity)
It’s no wonder teachers can’t control children in the classrooms. The children have been trained by society to quench every desire they have with instant gratification and self-centered behaviour. (It’s not just the children who are behaving this way. Their parents are often embracing the same activities and do very little to lead by example).
It’s important to understand how God imparts knowledge and wisdom so we understand how to seek and embrace it when we do find it. The most important thing we have is God’s Word. So many people dismiss the Bible and ignore its contents. Remember these words regarding wisdom? “the soundness of an action or decision regarding the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment”. Everything we need to know about good judgment based upon experience can be found in the Bible. There are centuries of good and bad behaviour patterns preserved for our benefit. Besides that, God blesses us with the Holy Spirit to guide us after we are baptised to help navigate this complicated world. He offers us skills, gifts, knowledge, and understanding. We have all the tools we need to become wise. But…
Are you using what God has given you to seek that treasured wisdom? Have you identified your gifts and special abilities and worked toward mastering those skills? Do you take the time to stop and think before speaking or reacting? Do you control yourself so you can be a model of prudent decision-making to others?
Growing in wisdom is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It will require self-discipline, sacrifice, bible study and a lot of patience (with yourself and those around you). It will require selflessness and be different from the crowd in a world where everybody is ensconced in the pursuit of happiness and self-gratification.
In the coming months and years, I pray you will seek wisdom, while still young and pliable. (Once you get old like me, it is so much harder to change!) Take time to sit with God away from the hustle and bustle of worldly distractions. Read His word and get to know Him. Practice patience and self-control. I can only speak for myself now, but please believe me when I tell you growing in wisdom brings peace and serenity. A quiet confidence develops that only God can give and I will pray daily you find it much earlier in life than I did. May God be with you in your search for wisdom.
Love, MOM xox