Summary: Pursuing Wisdom encourages people to seek God’s wisdom for life.
WISE LIVING SERIES
1. PURSUING WISE LIVING
All of us carry with us the collective wisdom passed on to us by the people who’ve been most significant in our lives. We’ve picked this wisdom up from parents, friends, teachers, leaders, relatives, barbers, and just about everybody … all the people who shaped and molded us as we were growing up. Some of this wisdom is very helpful. But some of is just plain wrong. I now realize that some of the wisdom I picked up growing up was plain wrong. For instance, one of my family’s mottos growing up was, "Look out for number one." By saying we need to look out for number one, we meant that in the end, each person has to look out for his or her own needs first. Looking out for number one means I make sure my needs are met, and then I’ll start thinking about your needs. I tried to live by that wisdom through my high school years. But when I got married I figured out that this was pretty bad advice. I soon learned that two people who live by that motto can’t sustain a long term relationship of mutual commitment. By the time I started having kids, I realized that it was impossible to live a wise life by embracing that motto.
Another one of our family mottos was, (this one I learned from my older brother) "Kung May Gusot, May Lusot.” (If There’s a Problem, Find a Way-Out). Early in life, we learned to lie; to come up reasons to justify misdemeanors – from simple ones to terrible ones. I remember at one time being caught stealing. It was the first time I joined some kids in stealing. We were all up on a macopa tree when the owner suddenly showed up with a long bolo in hand. All the other boys jump out of the tree – 24 feet high. I was left alone, scared, but still managed to run after being recognized by the owner who was a member of the Wesleyan church – good man. I learned that day, that finding an easy way out did not really work. I learned that denying your mistake does not pay.
I had a meeting with a brother this week talking about my future involvement in a project intended to help Foreign Domestic Workers when someone called up seeking for help. She was just terminated. Her offense: using her mobile after work. She was caught by her employer making a call inside her room. It could not have been that bad had she not been warned earlier, and signed an agreement that she would not be making telephone calls while in that house 2 weeks earlier. She did not listen and thought she would not be caught. But she was. And now she’s out of job.
What kind of wisdom did people pass on to you? What mottos from coaches, parents, and teachers have shaped and molded you into what you are today? Some of it was probably pretty good, and some of it was probably wrong. Part of being an adult is sorting through that stuff, keeping the truly wise, and rejecting the unwise.
Today we start a new series called WISE LIVING. In this series we’re going to look at God’s wisdom from the Bible’s book of Proverbs. Each week we’re going to look at what the Bible’s book of Proverbs says about one subject. For example, next week we’ll be talking about God’s wisdom about Planning. Then the week after, we’ll talk about God’s wisdom about Taking Initiative. In all, we’ll be looking at about four to thirty different topics. (Depending on Response).
But today we’re going to start by talking about God’s wisdom for our lives in general. Today we’re going to find out what true wisdom is, what the proverbs are, and then some prerequisites to living wisely.
1. What is "Wisdom"? (Marunong)
What exactly is "wisdom"? The dictionary defines "wisdom" as the ability to discern what is true or right. So our English word "wisdom" has both moral implications--discerning what’s right--and intellectual implications--discerning what’s true.
Wisdom is the God-given ability to perceive the true nature of a matter and to implement the will of God in that matter. Dr. Larry Lea
Wisdom is what is true and right combined with good judgment. Bill Hybels
The Hebrew word translated "wisdom" in the Bible is a bit more colorful than our English word. The Hebrew word translated "wisdom" is hochma, and it usually refers to some kind of skill or ability. It was originally used to described the work of weavers who weave the elaborate garments of Aaron, the high priest. Since the high priest and his clothing typified the ultimate high priest, Jesus Christ, it was imperative that the weavers follow God’s exact specifications for the priests’ garments.