Wisdom comes...

My son, eat honey; it is good. Honey straight from the honeycomb is the sweetest. In the same way, know that wisdom is good for you. Wisdom will give you something to hope for that will not disappoint you. (Proverbs 24:13-14)

We can turn to the internet for some "wisdom" - such as when we need help with learning a new language. We can turn to the books we have lining walls in our libraries - all divided by subject and author. We can even turn to each other - learning a great deal from what another may have learned over the years. In all these cases, we have amassed "knowledge", but maybe not wisdom. Wisdom isn't just "learned stuff" - it is "applied stuff" - going on to better our lives. Now, if I learned that foreign language to help another gain insight into the truth of the gospel message, the language would help me to "distribute" the wisdom I had attained by means of study of the Word of God, but it still would not be wisdom. I may have exercised wisdom in learning a different language as I came to realize I could not reach the other person until I could speak their tongue, but learning the language was not "getting wisdom". We get knowledge and wisdom mixed up, so it may not surprise us that our pursuit of each is a little mixed up, as well.

As a kid,  you are kind of naive and find stuff you don't know to be potential "hazards" to your well-being as kind of interesting or intriguing. I know a lot of stuff, as do you. What we put into practice most in our lives is something we might label "practical wisdom". It is the taking of things learned and making them "practical" by doing them over and over again until the knowledge becomes second nature to us. For example, we might learn that a steak cooked in too hot of a frying pan will sear nicely on the outside, but the inside of the steak will remain uncooked and almost too raw to eat. If we want both the "searing" effect of heat and the "cooking effect" of heat, we must vary what we do with the heat we place under the pan. We learn that by making a few mistakes - like overcooked meat one time, under-cooked another, and maybe one "just right" the next. Eventually, we develop a reasonably easy process of cooking our meat which we can replicate from one time to the next.

Wisdom which is practical in nature is usually the "regular" stuff we use everyday. Maybe we learn to not follow so close to vehicles when we have our first "rear-end collision", or we learn to bring laundry in off the line when we see storm clouds forming. We are certainly exercising good judgment with both - practical wisdom being highly linked to using good or "best" judgment in our decision-making. "Spiritually-based" wisdom is that which is learned by the application of God's truth in our lives. It isn't so much learned by trial and error, like cooking the steak to perfection. It is learned by obedience - choosing to do something not because we feel like it, but because we know it is the right thing to do. Knowing is the knowledge part - obedience is the wisdom part. Most of us would probably not equate wisdom with obedience, but if we really consider this carefully, obedience is applying truth even when we don't feel like it.

We can desire good things in this life, butbedesiring something less than what God knows to bebestfor us. We can desire even better things, like the "sweetness" of God's truth straight from him because we have spent time with him. Wisdom comes in choosing the latter. Just sayin!


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