By Deborah Kendrick
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives to all men generously and without reproaching,
and it will be given him ~ James 1:5
My short definition for wisdom is this: Wisdom lets you learn from other people’s mistakes. That is the best short-cut I have found in life…so far. Before you think of how “unfair” that sounds, consider this—the Bible is a book that explicitly details the flaws, mistakes, errors in judgment, and outright sins of many who are named in it. All of this has been preserved and given for our benefit. These stories are where we begin to learn from the mistakes of others. When we wash our minds with the Word of God, His wisdom enters our hearts.
So how does this wisdom come to us? Solomon began by asking God. When Solomon prayed that solitary request, God granted his desire—and so much more. Solomon simply asked for wisdom, not for riches, wealth, honor, the life of his enemies, or even long life for himself. God not only granted him wisdom and knowledge, but He also granted Solomon all that he had not requested. Wisdom will make us aware of the consequences of our decisions and actions before we make them. As we become more sensitive to the promptings, warnings, and insights that wisdom gives, we are also responsible for heeding them.
As we learn to trust these messages and co-operate, we grow in the depths of wisdom. Most people have experienced something like this: while driving down a road with no traffic, you have a compelling sense to slow down when there is no apparent reason. Just around the next bend, a car is disabled, and the driver is in a dangerous place—heeding that prompting saved the other driver and you.
Time in prayer is where wisdom is imparted. Wisdom invites us into a room where we dwell together in a meditative exchange of thoughts and ideas. Wisdom reveals itself in authenticity, originality, knowledge of witty inventions, solutions for unsolvable problems, finding the way when there is no way, replacing despair with hope . . . reminding us to bring extra oil for our lamps.
Lord, grace me to pray in Spirit and Truth, seeking wisdom above all else. May I know the fellowship of Your thoughts and ways. Let Your Kingdom come, and Your Will be done on earth and in me, as it is in Heaven. Amen
Call to Action
Read one chapter of Proverbs every day for a month; conveniently, there are 31 chapters. Who knows, after a month with these words of wisdom, you may want to make it a habit!
**A version of today’s blog post first appeared in WINE’s Called By Name: 365 Daily Devotions for Catholic Women.
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