I am reading the autobiography of one of our better known politicians, a man of stature and accomplishment. The book reveals a prideful, opportunistic person, ready to catch whatever wind is blowing at the moment in order to advance himself. If the pronoun “I” were taken out of the book, it would be shorter by half! He seems to think he is the smartest guy to come to Washington in the last quarter century. Full of himself and ready to ignore the counsel of others, he has created some disastrous policies that future generations will most likely judge quite harshly. He is intelligent, but is he wise? In my opinion, that answer is no.
Are you wise? Don’t answer with test scores or certificates of achievement! Look at your character, the fruit of your life.
Ask this: is the world a better place for my passing through it? Are people’s lives enhanced, is beauty created, and is God given His due honor?
The Psalm describes the wise this way. I have used a contemporary translation to deepen the impact. It lacks the poetic beauty of the authorized version, but drives home the point.
“How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.
You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere wind-blown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.
God charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.” (Psalm 1, The Message)
The wise person meditate on the Truths of God, letting the Word and Spirit go to the core of their being. From the inside out, they are shaped into a mature, wholesome person. When the droughts and famines of life come (and they will to each of us) wise and well-planted people continue to draw from the living water that springs from Heaven’s artesian well. They do not fail or fall, retreat or shed tears of regret. This Psalm compares them to an oasis in the desert, a place to which others are drawn to be refreshed! Those who are merely smart enough to build a little empire for themselves will be blown away, gone with the wind!
Choosing the way of wisdom is not simple, easy, or even always quickly apparent to our natural vision. But, if we are responsive to God, persistent in knowing His way and obeying it, wisdom will grow in us.
Take this word from the Word today. Read it prayerfully several times before you move on to other thoughts. “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.” (Proverbs 2:1-7, NIV)
Would you pray with me today?
Father, Your counsel is my wisdom.
help me to humbly bow my mind to it,
to submit my thoughts, words, and actions
to the ways of holiness.
In an age of smart fools,
make me wise in the ways of eternity.
Protect me from the arrogance of the age.
Spirit of God, may your wisdom
give my life lasting and beautiful fruit
so that my work will not ultimately be
blown away like chaff in the wind.