To Know Wisdom

Looking back over my life I’m realizing that most all of my troubles have come from not being wise. I made my biggest mistakes going headlong against the counsel of those who loved me most. No one to blame but me.

Wisdom is knowing the RayOnTreebest thing to do at each moment in time,  and doing it with the right motive and attitude. Wisdom is rooted in and springs from the fear of God (Ps 111:10); He says it is the most important thing. (Pr 4:7)

How do we get wisdom?  Simple: seek it, the way men seek money or pleasure … every day, with our whole heart. (Pr 2:4-5) Asking, praying without ceasing throughout each day, “Is this wisdom?” (Ja 1:5) And as we ask, we must be obeying wisdom: making the wisest choice we can every time we make a choice. (Pr 9:6)

Life’s tough, but it’s tougher when we’re stupid. Let’s ponder our path and walk worthy of God. The goal is not to have an easy life, but to be the kind of person to whom God will enjoy saying, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Mt 25:23)

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2 thoughts on “To Know Wisdom”

  1. God has been so merciful to me. My lack of wisdom was not so much rebellion but more ignorance. He’s turned so much brokenness into good. Not excusing foolishness, but so glad for His compassion and His promise of wisdom.

  2. In the Fall of 2017, as I sit in an airport waiting to try to fly standby on a full flight, a black man sitting beside me yawns and says he’s been traveling for over 30 hours. I remark about knowing how he feels and smile, mentioning my recent trip to India. We continue to chat freely and wholesomely about life and family; he seems like a decent, humble, joyful man with some tough history and hard-earned wisdom. I very much enjoy the few minutes we share, as with a dear friend I’ve known for years. As he’s called to board he rises to go; I wish him well and watch him get in line, hoping our paths might cross again some day.

    As he stands in line to board the aircraft, the gate agent is confronting a traveler with a grossly over-sized bag and requiring him to pay $60 to take it aboard. The traveler acts bewildered and upset, taking a few bills out of his front pocket, shaking his head desperately, evidently making as though he doesn’t have enough and asking for mercy.

    The agent asks the man to step aside so that others might board, but he doesn’t, repeatedly ignoring the agent’s commands. As the agent becomes firmer, almost threatening, the traveler finally steps aside to let others board, with a mixed expression of unbelief and helpless indignation.

    As I ponder this drama, I instinctively want to step forward and help the traveler with this fee, yet catch myself as I wonder how any remotely responsible person could be so completely unaware of the concept of a bag size limit, or how any remotely reasonable person could react with unbelief at being challenged when grossly violating it, or be traveling on an airplane with no possible means to pay such a small fee. I begin asking myself whether this fellow deserves my help, or if he’s merely developed a habit of bending and breaking regulations and slipping through unnoticed, and then playing the innocent, helpless victim when challenged. The appearance is the latter case.

    As I hesitate, to my deep surprise, the black man I’d been speaking with takes out his credit card and offers to pay the traveler’s baggage fee! I can see him telling the traveler that it’s no trouble and not to worry about it. He pays the fee with a smile and then boards the plane, the travel agent thanking him for his generosity.

    I’d never actually witnessed such kindness from one stranger to another, and was touched, but was still questioning the wisdom of it. Was my friend aiding or enabling? Is this the kind of thing that Jesus would do? Yeshua waited three days before feeding His attendees, waiting until they all ran out of food, knowing they couldn’t make it back to town to care for themselves without passing out. (“Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” Mt 15:32) However, this desperate traveler was, by all appearances, an able-bodied man fully capable of managing his own affairs.

    I’ll never know for sure, I suppose. I still don’t quite know how I should have handled it, what the right thing to do is in such a situation. Is it better to err on the side of generosity, or caution? How do we navigate these kinds of situations with honor, justice and real charity, not mere sentimentality?

    Your thoughts?

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