Summary: Where is wisdom found? Are we mining for it? It can’t be found where the riches of the world are found, in the earth. It can only be found in fearing God.
SEARCHING FOR WISDOM
By Pastor Jim May
Wisdom – What is it and how can you get more of it? It is defined in one dictionary as being “The ability to apply, or use correctly, all knowledge gained, every experience of life, and all understanding born of knowledge and experience, along with insight. It is also defined as being “common sense” and “using good judgment”.
I venture to say that the one word in this definition that comes closest to defining wisdom is the word “insight”. How do you get insight? Where can it be learned? How can it be found?
Is there any doubt that all of us need more wisdom? Look at the person sitting your right and tell them, “You really could use some wisdom”! Now look to the person on your left and say, “You sure need some too!” Who ever you examine, whether it is your neighbors, your family, your friends, or yourself, don’t you think that everyone could use just a little more wisdom? I have done some pretty dumb things in my life, and I dare say that all of you have too. We could all use a lot more wisdom.
But wisdom is a very elusive thing. It isn’t easily obtained. It seems to hide just around the corner from where I live. I’m ever reaching out for it, ever searching for it, but never quite getting to it. At best, it seems that every once in a while I manage to catch just a corner of wisdom and learn from it.
For most of us, we gain wisdom only through making a lot of mistakes. We get a little wiser if we stick our hand to a hot stove, or walk barefoot through the grass and step on a thorn, or get in too much of a hurry and wreck the car or get a traffic ticket. All of the experiences of life help us to gain a little wisdom, but only if we allow those lessons that we learn to govern our actions after we learn them. Knowledge without action on that knowledge doesn’t do much to help us.
You can learn that a hot stove will burn but if that knowledge isn’t put into practice and you still stick your hand on a hot stove, or if you continue to drive in a manner that will bring the wrath of the traffic cop down on you, then your knowledge doesn’t give you wisdom, but exactly the opposite.
Therefore, experience, knowledge, education, and understanding alone are not wisdom. Wisdom only comes when they are used with that little word called “insight”, to make us change to use what we know correctly.
People, through long experience, and trying to learn from their mistakes, often make up one-liners; little sayings that will sum up what they have learned so that the lessons learned won’t be so easily forgotten. Those little one-liners are called “Proverbs”.
There was a 1st grade teacher who had a collection of well-known proverbs. She decided one day to give each child in her class the first half of a proverb, and then let them finish those proverbs in their own words. Listen to their answers.
-Better to be safe than...Punch a 5th grader.
-Strike While the...Bug is close.
-It’s always darkest before...Daylight Savings time.
-Never underestimate the power of...Termites.
-You can lead a horse to water but...how?
-Don’t bite the hand that...looks dirty.
-No news is...impossible.
-You can’t teach an old dog new...math.
-If you lie down with dogs, you’ll...stink in the morning.
-Love all; trust...me.
-The pen is mightier than the ...pigs.
-An idle mind is...The best way to relax.
-Where there’s smoke there’s...Pollution.
-Happy the bride who...gets all the presents.
-A penny saved is...not much.
-Don’t put off till tomorrow what...you put on to go to bed.
-Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and...you have to blow your nose.
-Children should be seen and not...spanked or grounded.
-If at first you don’t succeed...get new batteries.
-You get out of something what you...see pictured on the box.
-When the blind leads the blind...get out of the way.
The Book of Job contains one of the most beautiful poems in the Word of God concerning wisdom.
Job 28:1-3, "Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death."
Mankind will search diligently for those things that he believes will bring him wealth and power. Some of the greatest industries that we have are mining and refining industries. Wars have been fought over the resources found in the earth beneath our feet. How many people have been killed for their claim to a vein of gold or silver? How many have seen their lives ruined when they robbed or killed to gain a few shiny rocks called diamonds?