The beginning of wisdom is…

Biologists who study ants estimate there are one quadrillion ants in the world. The rarest, softest, and most expensive fabric on earth is vicunal, which comes from a llama like animal in Peru. The longest recorded duration for standing on one foot is 76 hours and 40 minutes. 

And it only took me about one minute to find all that out.  

We live in a world where we have access to an unbelievable amount of information. There are some ways in which this is a blessing of course. But there are also some ways in which it can be a disadvantage.  

One, we can confuse knowing information with understanding. Two, we can become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of data we are exposed to.  Three, we can be distracted from what is really important by the amount of information we are having to process that isn’t. And four, we can fail to recognize that the information we are receiving is usually not neutral, but coming from a certain perspective and is meant to lead us to certain conclusions. 

As we look forward to the new year, it is obvious, we need more than information, we need help processing that information. We need the ability to know who to listen to, what to listen to, what matters, how to think, how to make decisions in a way that is good for us and good for others.  

It’s like we need an information curator. Or probably a better way to put it, we need wisdom. If there’s one thing you should want in 2022, it’s to become wise. Wisdom is the ability to make right choices. It’s knowing who to listen to and who not to listen to. It’s knowing what to say, when to say it. It’s being able to handle the little details of life in a way that works and that is good. It’s being smart about relationships. As one scholar has put it, wisdom is having a “masterful understanding of life” and who doesn’t want that? 

Actually, a lot of people.

That is what is so sad. They want information, but they don’t want wisdom. How about you? Do you really want to become wise in 2022? If so, prove it. You say how? 

Here are five questions to help you evaluate whether you really do want to grow in wisdom:

  1. Are you truly open to being changed by God’s Word? 

Many people stand over God’s Word when they read it instead of placing themselves under it. When you read the Bible are you actually willing to be different as a result of what you are reading? Are you willing to be wrong? The goal of reading our Bible is not to tell God what we already know or to argue with Him about how He is wrong but to listen to Him and worship Him and be transformed by what He tells us. 

  1. Are you working at listening to God’s Word?

There are lots of people who say they want to change, and say they have this desire to grow, but then you watch them as wisdom is being spoken, and repeatedly, they are in a different world. They are tuned out.  They aren’t processing what’s being said. They are just waiting for their opportunity to speak.  One of the most basic things you have to do if you ever are going to become wise, is grab hold of your ear, and learn how to listen to wisdom well.

  1. Are you regularly asking God for help to apply His Word? 

God is the one who gives wisdom. So ask Him for it. And keep asking. If I am living 

in a desert and I know there’s only one place I can dig and get water, if I know that, 

and I start digging, and I don’t get water, I don’t stop digging, I keep digging, because, this is the only place where there’s water, and if I don’t get water, then I die and that’s kind of how it is with wisdom. You need wisdom and God says, he only gives wisdom to people who ask for it, and so, if you are not getting it when you are asking, evaluate your heart and why you are asking and all that, but whatever you do, don’t stop asking. 

  1. Are you making sacrifices to understand God’s Word? 

You say you want to become wise, but how badly? Are you willing to get up early to 

read? Are you willing to work hard to understand more? Are you willing to ask for 

help when you don’t understand something? You say you want to become wise, but how badly? 

Maybe, you say that’s the problem! I don’t have that kind of desire.  Like that’s where it ends. I guess I just don’t have that kind of desire. Too bad. No, man, get it! Some desires you don’t have, ok, whatever. I don’t want ice cream. Well, that doesn’t matter. Other desires you don’t have, you don’t just sit back, you say something is wrong, and I am not going to be content with not wanting what I should want. 

What can you do to increase your desire? Here are four steps you can take:

  • Preach to yourself your need for it. 
  • Don’t fill yourself up with junk.
  • Repent of sins in your relationships with God’s people. 
  • Discipline yourself to study God’s Word even when you don’t want to. 
  1. Are you obeying what you are learning in God’s Word? 

If you want wisdom and you don’t feel like you have it, you obey what you do know God wants you to do. You don’t know everything. Ok. Do what you know.  Because, God’s got plenty of wisdom to share. But, he stores up sound wisdom for the upright. And so what do you do when you don’t know what to do? You do whatever it is that you do know God wants you to do, in faith, trusting that because He’s faithful and because you are His, because of Jesus, He’s going to give more and more wisdom as you need it.  

Apparently the ancient Babylonians were the first ones to make New Year’s Resolutions. I got that piece of information from google as well. But, what is your resolution for this next year? What do you want this next year? What are you going to pursue? 

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

In a world filled with people who have access to all kinds of information, we as believers can and will stand out, not just by knowing a lot of facts but by being people who have the wisdom to live life well.

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