Wisdom can be defined as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement. I would describe wisdom as the ability to apply knowledge through experience. Wisdom is a valuable commodity, a wise person is able to make good, sound decisions and solve problems because of the combination of experience, knowledge and judgement they possess.
The Bible is full of references to wisdom, especially the book of Proverbs. Proverbs chapter 8 tells us wisdom is something to be pursued and personifies wisdom as a literary tool. Verses 32 – 36 contain a statement as though wisdom is addressing us.
“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”
Of all the people of the Bible, or even all of history, perhaps no one is more well known for wisdom than Solomon. In 1 Kings 3:9 Solomon is praying to God and makes His request. Solomon says, “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” Another translation uses discerning heart rather than understanding heart. Solomon was a great leader for his nation because he had the ability to make good decisions based on an internal understanding or discernment.
Today we need wisdom more than at any time during my lifetime. As we pray for wisdom what we should be asking for is the same thing Solomon asked for, a discerning heart. For a long time, I viewed praying for wisdom the same as praying that God would grant me the ability to make good decisions. I was essentially asking God to make me more able to make sound judgements within myself. This view of wisdom essentially says, “God, download into me what I need to make good decisions on my own.” Taken further, it is like asking “God enhance my ability to succeed on my own, without You.” Of course when I prayed for wisdom I didn’t think in those terms, but my view of wisdom was flawed.
Wisdom is better seen as something we access than something we possess. Wisdom is not a download, it is a dialog. Asking God to download wisdom into my head or heart is a bit like the prodigal son asking for his inheritance so he could go off away from the father and live. Rather than asking God for a download of wisdom, I’ve started asking God for a dialog of wisdom. Increasingly, I don’t see wisdom as something to get FROM Him but rather something to get WITH Him.
I don’t want to enhance my ability to succeed without Him, I want to enhance my capacity to live with Him. I want wisdom to flow, in real-time, from God’s heart to mine. I want wisdom to be an outflow of my relationship with Him, not merely a compilation of experience and knowledge that I’ve gained on my own. Wisdom is just another attribute of Jesus’ statement in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
Decide today to increase your communication with your Father God, rely on Him, abide in Him and draw your wisdom from Him, not from your own life. Wisdom is a dialog, not a download. It is a continual conversation born of relationship, not a one time impartation.