Are you wise? Wisdom is knowledge matched with understanding. There is probably no time in a person’s life that is more packed with danger than the teen years. Why? Because teens generally have greater freedoms but they have not yet developed the discernment and insight that allows them to fully appreciate the long-term consequences of their choices. I remember at age 17, driving a car incredibly fast because I could! I was smart enough to have a license but not wise enough to understand that I risked serious injury or death as a result of my stunts. 40 years later wisdom has taken root. I know that 2 tons of steel wrapped around me do not make me invincible.
The Proverbs declare that “wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 8:11) Wisdom says, “Wealth and Glory accompany me— also substantial Honor and a Good Name. My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary; the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus. You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk— at the intersection of Justice Avenue, Handing out life to those who love me, filling their arms with life—armloads of life! “ (Proverbs 8:18-21, The Message)
So where do we find this amazing thing? The Bible says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” (Proverbs 9:10-12, NIV) A deep reverence for God is the source. A person who is willing to admit he does not know it all, who will bend his will to the will of God, will gain wisdom. Wisdom is not simply learning Bible verses! It has been my misfortune to know many religious fools full of Bible knowledge and trivia while lacking insight and discernment totally.
Knowledge can feed pride and nothing makes a greater fool than being proud! In Romans 1, the downward path of humanity from glory to depravity is traced to the growth of knowledge without the humility that leads to true wisdom. “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.” (Romans 1:21-22, NLT)
Each season of life requires a new kind of wisdom. As we become skillful and gain knowledge, we must remember the Lord. Begin each day with prayer. Take time often to reflect on His majestic holiness. Ask for wisdom! Prepare for discipline. No wisdom comes without the testing that deepens our insight by stripping away superficiality. Study the Scripture and pray for the Holy Spirit to make the truth your foundation.
Here’s a word from the Word. I pray it describes my life (and yours, too)!
“Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.
I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.” (Psalm 119:98-100, NIV)
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130, NIV)