This summer, I had a rather surreal experience. I spent six weeks basically retracing the various stages of my life. This was not planned, but it happened anyway as we visited family and churches in the States. I visited the house I grew-up in, the schools I attended, my graduate school, every home I’ve shared with my wife, the church I first interned at, and both churches I’ve served. One of the things that struck me was that in all of these life stages I thought I knew exactly what I was doing. In high school, I was a no it all who thought he was smarter than his teachers. I can tell you now, there was a TON I did not know. In my early ministry, I thought I was sublimly wise and super talented, and I can tell you a lot of failures taught me a lot about humility! I realized how far I was from knowing much of anything, let alone everything, at every stage of my life. I had a lot of learning and growing to do, and indeed I am still growing in Godly wisdom.
Here’s my point: we are never as wise as we think we are, nor as as wise as God desires us to be. No matter what life stage we are in, we all are called to continuously grow in wisdom. And, its not just any wisdom we are called to, but Godly wisdom. For the next few weeks, I want us to dig into an amazing treasury of Godly wisdom, Proverbs, in a series called Proverbs: Wisdom for Living. This collection of poems and sayings continues to be highly relevant centuries after being penned. It continues to compart not just information, but Godly wisdom meant to guide us for now and all eternity. Let’s start at the very beginning with the introduction found in Proverbs 1:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance. Proverbs 1:2-5
Right away, this introduction tells us what we are about to learn. We’re not just going to get smarter, but learn how to understand Godly things, live righteously, how to treat others fairly, teach others, and more. I am particularly struck by verse five: Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. See, wisdom isn’t about how much intelligence you were born with, or how much information your brain has retained. Wisdom comes from realizing the necesity of listening to God. We become wise when we realize we don’t know it all, and we never will. Instead, we constantly strive to listen to God by reading his Word, be guiding by His Spirit, and connecting in prayer. I pray that not only throughout these next weeks, but throughout our whole lives, that we may constantly seek to live and grow in Godly wisdom.