Friday, June 3, 2011

You Can Be Wise (Part 5)

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; (Proverbs 2:6-10)

The value of wisdom is in the peace and confidence it gives us in life.  We continue our look at a few ways we can equip ourselves to live wisely.
1.     A wise person values right and seeks to discern the difference between right and wrong when making decisions.
2.     A wise person discerns the difference between the truth and a lie.
3.    Wise people understand the difference between that which is important and that which is insignificant.
Have you heard the story about the storefront window? In the window were mannequins dressed in clothing the store wished to sell. Some were dressed in expensive articles, while others had on bargain attire. Some had gold bracelets and diamond cuff links. Others wore imitation jewelry. Mahogany furniture shared window space with inexpensive stuffed animals. During the night a vandal broke in and carefully removed each price tag, attaching it to a different article. When morning came, the shoppers gazed into the window and saw all the items for sale. But the price tags had been switched. And many exquisite items appeared to be of little value, while some things almost without worth seemed to be the most desirable of all.

Only a parable, of course, but it does happen, doesn't it? Society too often attaches its tags of highest worth to things that ultimately do not matter much, while other issues of urgency are all but ignored and deemed unimportant.  Consider what we are willing to pay and to whom. 

·      Scientists who labor in laboratories seeking cures to everything from arthritis to AIDS frequently live on shoestring budgets.  Professional athletes who happen to have been born tall or fast make multiple millions per year simply to shoot baskets or hit baseballs. 

·      Social service workers labor in undeveloped countries and inner-city ministries and fight for funds to survive while actors demand multi-millions for the next blockbuster.  Our society values entertainment over feeding the hungry masses.

It is obvious that we have switched the price tags, overvaluing things of little lasting significance and undervaluing the things that matter most. Wise people know the difference between that which is unimportant and that which is of supreme significance; and they are wise enough to make the right choices.  Wise people understand how to become "life smart."

When dealing with the countless issues of daily life, we need more information than any one individual intuitively possesses.  A wise person knows where to look to find it.  To successfully navigate life's waters, we daily look to the Bible for instruction and inspiration.  We become involved with the church, where we share ideas and find support.  When we become part of Bible study groups, prayer groups, support groups, and so forth, we find collective wisdom, strength and insight virtually unavailable in any other way.  We develop and maintain the discipline of prayer.

You can be intelligent; and so can I. It is ultimately a matter of knowing God and following His Word.  Wisdom comes to those like Solomon who appeal to the proper Source. "God appeared to Solomon and said, 'Ask what I shall give to you.' And Solomon answered, 'Give me now wisdom and knowledge ....'"  The gift is still available to those who seek and ask. 

Scripture to Claim:
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. "Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; love her, and she will watch over you. (Proverbs 4:5-6)

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