Choosing Wisdom Every Day
Guest Contribution submitted by Debbie’s Dad
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5 NIV).
We are all invited to ask God for wisdom to live a Godly life. But God specifically invited Solomon to request anything he wanted (1 Kings 3:5), and he prayed, requesting a discerning or understanding heart (I Kings 3:6-9). God was pleased and gave him a “wise and discerning heart” (1 Kings 3: 10-14). And Solomon’s life demonstrated the gift God gave to him. The story is well-known, and Solomon’s wisdom was recognized in the ancient world.
Ken Boa was an undergraduate student two years ahead of me at the Case Institute of Technology in the late sixties. Our paths never crossed until many years later, when he sent me his testimony of how he came to know the Lord from a very anti-Christian culture in a fraternity. He went on to seminary and has been a faithful and gifted witness for the Lord, leading a lifetime teaching and writing ministry. In a recent newsletter, he told the following story:
Many of us are like the CEO who was visited by an angel in the middle of a board meeting. The angel said to the executive, “Because of your pious life. I’m going to give you a choice between unbounded wisdom, wealth, or beauty.” Of course, being a pious person, he (or she) chose wisdom without hesitation. “Very well,” the angel said and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The CEO sat in silence, surrounded by a glow, as all the board members stared. Finally, someone whispered, “Say something to us. We want to hear the voice of wisdom.”
Finally, the CEO spoke: “I should have taken the money.”
While this is a humorous story (because of the irony of the CEO’s final quip), it gives us pause to consider our own lives.
We are offered the very wisdom of God, yet we often seek other things as if we value those things more. The Pharisees who so opposed Jesus are like those who took the money. In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus taught using parables (the sower and seed; tares and wheat; mustard seed; leaven, hidden treasure, costly pearl, and dragnet) to teach spiritual truth. Amid these parables, Jesus explained (Matt. 13:14-15) that the reason the Pharisees and other resisting Jewish people could not understand was because of spiritual blindness and deafness – as prophesied in Isaiah.6:9. Worse yet, their worship was in vain (Matt. 15:7-11), citing Isaiah 29:13. Both of these issues were because of their heart condition (Matt. 12: 35). The passages in Matthew 6, 12, 13 and 15 provide the full relationship between our heart and its treasure (the things we value), and:
- The effect on our perception of spiritual things (the Word of God)
- Our ability to truly worship God.
Citing Isaiah, Jesus described the kind of person who ‘… honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me…” (Matt. 15:8)
From these verses, we can see that the distance between our heart and God the Father shows the simple and critical aspect of our spiritual life. The “distance” is measured by our:
- Time spent with Him in prayer
- Time spent listening to His Word
- The value that we place on His goals
- The value we place on our relationship with Him
- Time spent worshiping Him – glorifying Him
The Pharisees could not see or hear—rejecting Him instead of recognizing Him as the Son of God. And their worship was in vain because their relationship was not genuine. They had the right “optics” and “spin” as religious persons, yet they ultimately called to crucify the Son of God.
May we choose God’s wisdom as the treasure of our heart.