Thursday, June 19, 2008


Every day that we are alive presents new challenges and opportunities. We have available to us so much knowledge, through books, media and the internet. Is it knowledge that gives us the ability to deal with these daily challenges or is it something else, like wisdom?

The Encarta Dictionary online defines wisdom as “the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience.” It expands that definition further by adding, “accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.”

So, it would seem that wisdom takes knowledge and refines it through experiences gained throughout a lifetime. Thus, we have come to think of older people as being wiser (though not always true) because they have had the opportunity for more experience in their years of living.

To carry that thought to an even further extreme, God would have more experience than any of us could because He has always existed…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 (NASB)

It would make sense then that the wisdom of God would be the wisdom that we should all be seeking after. The Bible says that…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

His praise endures forever. Psalms 111:10 (NASB)

James tells us that we can have that wisdom of God. It is available to us for the asking…

5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8 (NASB)

The book of Proverbs tells us that we will be blessed when we find wisdom…

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom

And the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13 (NASB)

James tells us how different the wisdom from God is from the wisdom from man…

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18 (NASB)

Working with so many people that do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, I have often wondered how to show them the miraculous, saving love that Jesus has to offer. I know that it is largely grounded upon how others see us and how we act toward them. The key is found in utilizing God’s wisdom. Listen to how Paul puts it in his letter to the church in Colossae

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:5-6 (NASB)

Using God’s Word, His Wisdom and His Love by means of His Holy Spirit, which indwells us, we will succeed in whatever task He puts before us.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Have you ever noticed that your personality sometimes adopts traits of people with whom you hang out? It is almost as if those traits were contagious at times. If you’re around negative people, it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming negative yourself. If your friends tend to be physically violent, you may find yourself taking on some of those characteristics. Similarly, if you hang out with angry people, you tend to become angry. We have to watch ourselves constantly and carefully observe our own attitudes to be aware of this.

If we are trying to help a friend that is upset, it is best that we not act upset. The Bible puts it like this…

A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

God is a powerful God and leads us by example for we were created in His image…

11The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)

The voice of the Lord was in the gentle whisper.

Jesus described himself as gentle…

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (NASB)

Paul tells us that we are even to be gentle with those who oppose us…

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NIV)

James tells us that we will find gentleness in the wisdom of God, which is available to us for the asking (James 1:5-6)…

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17 (NASB)

Remember the old adage about when you get upset…count to ten (or twenty or thirty!). It really is a good idea. And, may I add that while those seconds are ticking away that you say a quick prayer to God seeking His help and His wisdom for the proper response. He is faithful and will help you in your time of need. His word says that if you seek Him, you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29; Proverbs 8:17).


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


There are many sayings that deal with patience…

Take your time and do things right.

Measure twice and cut once.

A Chinese proverb puts it like this, “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.”

The wisest king in all history and the subject of many movies was King Solomon. He wrote the largest portion of the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Here are a couple examples from that book on patience…

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 16:32 (NKJV)

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29 (NASB)

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11 (NKJV)

An angry man stirs up dissension,

and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.

Proverbs 29:22 (NIV)

Hot-tempered people are ones that act on their feelings of anger and frustration before thinking through all the consequences of such actions.

In the New Testament, James puts it like this…

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20 (NIV)