Oh boy! Who am I to write about wisdom? Really, who are any of us? Maybe that’s why the focus is on what it means to awaken wisdom. Afterall, we’re still in the process of becoming who God wants us to be, right?
Confession, Questions, and Prayer
Sometimes when I read Paul’s letters I feel like I am on a merry go round. While on that merry go round going nowhere fast, I duck one way to avoid words flying at me and reach out my hand to grab other words. But, mostly I feel like I go round, and round, and round, and round.
To help you (and me) get off that merry go round with Paul’s letters, here are three questions to ask of today’s Scripture reading. The Scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.
- What is the importance of wisdom?
- What is the nature of wisdom?
- What is the source of wisdom?
Before we answer these questions. Let’s pray:
Lord Jesus, reveal to me your wisdom. By your grace, help me to see as you see, hear as you hear, and speak as you speak. Most of all Lord, guide me in your ways so I may become the person you’d have me be. Amen.
Q1: What is the importance of wisdom?
True wisdom gives a path to life and security. It also equips us to lead others. Think of leadership broadly – as a parent, spouse, co-worker, volunteer, etc. Wisdom guides our behavior and our words. Here are a few other thoughts on the importance of wisdom.
- leads to life (Pr 24:14, Dan 12:3)
- is priceless (Pr 4:7)
- touches the whole person (1 Kings 3:12)
- results in right action (James 3:13)
- is necessary for leaders to govern (Acts 6:3)
- helps administer justice (1 Kings 3:28, Matt 24:45)
- give instruction (Ec 12:9, Col 1:28, 3:16)
- listen to instruction (Pr 1:5, 15:31)
- examples of people who embodied wisdom – the life of Joseph (Acts 7:10), the elders of Israel (Dt 1:15), Joshua (Dt 34:9).
Q2: What is the nature of wisdom?
Wisdom enables planning and successful achievement of a desired goal. True wisdom includes spiritual discernment. Wisdom also embodies reverence and knowledge of God.
- as instruction for practical living (Pr 14:8, 12:11)
- in government (Gen 41:33-36)
- as understanding God’s plans and ways (Gen 41:39, Ho 14:9)
- is expressed in reverent, right relationship with God (Job 28:28)
- as knowledge of God (Ep 1:17, Col 1:9)
- as obedience to God’s commands (Ps 119:34,79)
- is personified and inviting (Pr 8:1-4, 9:1-6)
- is a teacher of what is right (Pr 8:5-21)
- existed before creation (Pr 8:22-32)
- human wisdom can be opposed to God (1 Cor 1:18-25, 4:10)
Q3: Who or what is the source of true wisdom?
God gives wisdom. Next question? 🙂
True wisdom belongs and comes from God – not us. We are recipients of wisdom when we seek God’s revelation.
- given by God alone (Job 12:13, James 3:17)
- received through God’s word (Ps 19:7, Mt 7:24, Col 3:16)
- received through submission to God and given by the Spirit (Is 33:6, Eph 1:17, Acts 6:3, 10)
- given in response to prayer (James 1:5, Col 1:9)
Worldly Wisdom v. Divine Wisdom
- builds false hope (Is 47:10, Is 5:21, Col 2:23, 2 Cor 11:18-19)
- is empty and foolish (1 Cor 3:19-20, Romans 1:21-23)
Divine wisdom is…
- revealed in Jesus (1 Cor 1:23-24, 15-17, 30; 1 Cor 2:6-8)
- rejected by the worldly wise and revealed to the unlearned (1 Cor 1:18, 22-23, 26-27)
- revealed through the church (Eph 3:10)
It’s pretty clear where the passage of Scripture leads us today. As we reflect on the divine wisdom of God – the source, initiator, and giver of wisdom – we awaken wisdom in our lives.
It’s pretty amazing that all human attempts to be wise are nothing in comparison to God’s wisdom. Even God’s foolishness is wiser than any human wisdom. Ret-ro, how often do we mess up around that wisdom characteristic?
Listening, looking, and learning God’s ways helps us become wise in Christ. The church, at its best, helps us learn the wisdom of God. Then, we have the privilege to discern, with humility and reverence, God’s will and way. That’s wisdom.
To awaken wisdom is to become mature in Christ. Said differently, wisdom is maturity in Christ – an ability to know our preferences and bias while listening to God. To awaken wisdom will mean yielding a little more of you to Jesus.
Are you up for the challenge? Download the “Awaken Wisdom Guide” to read, reflect, and respond to God as you seek to follow Jesus.