Christians need wisdom. ‘Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her’ (Proverbs 3:13-15).
What is wisdom? Wisdom is the capacity to see things clearly and to act accordingly. The wise person is the person who sees things as they really are, understands what he needs to do in different situations, and does it.
Where does wisdom begin?
The Bible tells us that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Proverbs 9:10). God himself is the ultimate reality. He is the one Eternal Being, the Creator and Upholder of all things, the Sovereign Ruler over everything that exists, the great Lawgiver, the Judge of all his creatures. He never changes.
Recognising God for who he is and fearing him is the starting point of all wisdom. If a person leaves God out of account in his thinking, he cannot see anything clearly. However intelligent or well-educated that person may be, he’s a fool.
A wise person has a proper fear of God. And therefore he takes notice of all that God has said in his book, the Bible. He pays attention to what God has said about the world, about human beings, about life , about death, about marriage, about bringing up children, about money, about eating and drinking, about work and rest and sleep – about everything!
God is perfectly wise; he made the world and everything in it so he understands all these realities perfectly. If we fear God, we’ll listen to what he has said about all these things, and we will grow wise.
Of course, being wise means studying the rules that God has given us and understanding how to apply those rules in every area of life. A wise man may not understand why things happen as they do. And he may not be able to predict what will happen in the future. But he follows God’s directions in the various situations he faces. So he makes right decisions – decisions that please God and lead to good outcomes.
Growing in wisdom
A believer should grow in wisdom as the years go by. That was true even for the Lord Jesus. ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man’ (Luke 2:52). As a toddler, Jesus’s wisdom was perfect but limited. He didn’t need to make decisions about marriage or investments or politics, or careers. He didn’t need adult wisdom about such things. But as the years went by, he was faced with ever more demanding decisions and he needed ever greater wisdom.