So, we are looking at the crux of the whole matter: Wisdom. So, what exactly is it? According to the online dictionary it is:
- The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
- The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
Here we can see that it is a “quality” but also an “ability.” In the first sense, it is something you have. Something you have been given through all your life experiences and learning. In the second sense it is the ability to actually put it into practice. Apply it to daily life. Like the difference between having a guitar, and actually being able to play it and make music.
The Lord uses different methods to actually give us wisdom for our lives. Through suffering and other significant experiences the Lord places the qualities of wisdom within us. He shapes our character and forms our nature. He gives us wisdom. But, it is not complete. Before that wisdom can be at all relevant to us, we actually need to learn how to use it. And how to use it effectively. And for this to happen, we need to apply the basic principles of learning.
Jimmy loved music. He would often enjoy listening to his mum and dad play the piano together. Every time they played, he found himself being swept away when the beautiful melodies that would fill the house. One day he said to his dad, “Dad, how come you and mum play the piano so beautifully?” His dad replied, “Well son, we have been playing for many years.” Jimmy looked at his dad intently and said, “So do I have to be old like you before I can play an instrument?” His dad chuckled and said “No ways Jim, all you need to do is practice.”
My dad always used to say “Practice makes perfect Dylan.” He loved using little sayings to help teach me the principles of applying that which I have learnt and practicing until I mastered it. And so it is with the wisdom the Lord gives us. Our eyes may have been opened and we may have been given various wise qualities during those times of development and trial, but unless we actually practice using them, they will end up collecting dust, and we will become like those who can counsel our friends and give those around us great insight and wisdom for life, but are unable to actually apply it in our own lives.
So let us be doers of the word, applying the wisdom the Lord has given us and living out by example the aspects of Christ we have been given.
Lord, I pray that you will give us the discipline to put into practice that which you have given us. To actually apply the wisdom you provide for us throughout our lives. May we be examples of wisdom rather than only voices for it. Amen.