The Wisdom Walk

Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)
Those who trust in themselves are fools, 
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

Proverbs 28:26 (AMP)
He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a (self-confident) fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered.

I have yet to meet someone who feels strongly about something and yet is quite sure that they are wrong.

Including me…

We just do not quickly or easily admit we are wrong – even when we get pretty ample evidence. Often, as evidence begins to mount that we might have been wrong, we scurry to defend or justify our position. We blame it on wrong or inadequate information. Someone else’s action, manipulation, or influence.
 
Too many times in the past, I let my emotional response or what I thought I knew guide my decisions – and it didn’t work out well. Emotions and perceptions are not the basis for sound, wise decisions with predictably solid outcomes. Perceptions are so easily skewed. Emotions are so easily manipulated and quite fickle. FOR ALL OF US.

Remember the bad boy you thought you couldn’t live without? The trip you couldn’t miss that you couldn’t afford? The relationship that was ruined because of misunderstanding and both parties are still sure the other is totally wrong? The job that looked fabulous and turned out to be a nightmare? The house that was just perfect and turned out to be a money pit? That word bomb you had to detonate because you had to have the last word and the biggest word?

Think about the folks from different races, religions, tribes, nations, or political leanings that have allowed those different ways of being and seeing to lead them down horrific paths of destruction, hate, murder and even genocide. Have you ever talked to a racist? As astounding as it is, they really believe their stuff and believe it is right.

You know what we have in common with the obvious crazies? We really believe our stuff, too. Even when it isn’t working and we actually have ample evidence. It is hard to let go of what we FEEL and THINK. Even when it’s wrong. That’s why it’s called “foolish” to make our own emotions and perceptions the basis for our choices.

Thank God we don’t have to live that way if we don’t want to. Because He loves us so much, God didn’t leave us vulnerable to the shifting winds of our emotions. You have probably heard this, but we are not souls. We are spirits. Our spirit is who and what we are. We have a soul (mind, will and emotions) and we live in a body. But, our spirit is who we are. By and large, we are used to operating almost strictly by the dictates of our souls and not our spirits.

That’s where godly and skillful Wisdom comes in. As believers, we have free access to the wisdom of God and the mind of Christ. Given to us. (1 Corinthians 2:16, Proverbs 2:6, James 1:5, 1 Corinthians 1:24, Colossians 1:9) But, it doesn’t just automatically take over. We have to choose it. How?

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE NEED IT AND HE’S GOT IT

Lord, your thoughts and ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Lord, anything that seems wise in this world is foolish compared to Your wisdom. (I Corinthians 3:19)

All true wisdom and understanding comes from You, Lord. (Job 12:12-13)

ASK FOR WISDOM

Your Word says that if I lack wisdom, all I have to do is ask You for it and You give it generously. (James 1:5)

RECEIVE WISDOM

I am called by God and Jesus has been made the wisdom of God to me. (1 Corinthians 1:24)

In You, Lord, is all of the wealth of wisdom and understanding – insight into Your ways and purposes. When I seek You, I find that wisdom. (Colossians 2:3)

Sounds good, right? Now what?

Here are some practical ways to access and walk in the wisdom of God. I’m certainly not saying I am an expert at this – but, I am pressing in and pressing toward it!

Put significant importance on knowing more and more about God’s ways and thoughts by putting your thoughts and attention and appropriate time and focus in that direction. If you wanted to become really skilled at any other thing, you wouldn’t think it was unusual or a real burden to spend time learning what you needed to learn and practicing what you needed to be able to do. No different here.

One teacher gave the assignment to go through the book of Proverbs and make two lists. One of everything it says a fool or the foolish do and another of what it says the wise do. That gave me a whole lot to think about.

Here’s a little quick checklist of God-wisdom qualities to consider when you are wondering what to do…

According to James 3:17, the wisdom that comes from heaven is:

PURE – So, check my motives and my emotions
…see what is driving the decision.

PEACE-LOVING – Will this choice bring greater peace?


GENTLE AT ALL TIMES – Is this kind, amiable, caring?

WILLING TO YIELD TO OTHERS – What is in the best interest of others here?


FULL OF MERCY – Am I being compassionate even when someone has done wrong to me?


FULL OF GOOD DEEDS – What is the opportunity for me to do good for someone here?


SHOWING NO FAVORITISM – Is this impartial and not from a place of emotional preference
?

SINCERE – Is this genuine and without a personal agenda?

When I think of checklists, one of the things that comes to mind is how pilots have a checklist that they have to go through before they take off. Even if they’ve been flying for decades, they go through the checklist. Every trip. Every time. It is to insure that the plane is ready for a safe journey to the desired destination. Got a desired outcome? Want to get there safely? Well, before we take off, let’s go through the checklist!

Look at that list. It will tell you a lot about our Heavenly Father and His great love for us. It describes His thoughts and ways. How blessed are we that we belong to Him????

God is good and He adores us!

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