published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Wisdom: beginning and the end
Crossroads. We reach them in lots of ways.
Where to go to college when accepted at more than one? Where to live and settle when two equally good possibilities are available? Is a business opportunity right for you? You waver wondering if you should jump in, take the risk or stay with the status quo.
You need wisdom.
Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom as does the book of James in the Bible. In Proverbs 2 2, NKJV we're reminded, "Incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding."
In Proverbs 4:11 we are shown two paths and two outcomes. The writer says, "I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life."
The verses that follow warn against the path of the wicked, of evil and we are told in verse 15, "Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on."
It seems that in reading these verses, we see that the end of wisdom brings practical benefits. In fact, wisdom is often referred to as skillful living or truth applied. Life works best when we observe the outcomes of choices and stay away from negative paths.
But what about a choice where there is no obvious negative path? Perhaps God is asking us to exercise freedom of choice while trusting him to clear the way or close the door.
Whether a clear choice between right and wrong or between two 'rights,' if we only look to outcomes it's like opening the last page of a book and seeing the end of wisdom. We must remember Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."
A healthy fear or reverence of God, for God and about God matters even more than the outcome or end of wisdom. It speaks of our relationship with our Creator and our desire to please him, factoring him into every decision.
So when we seek who God is with awe and wonder, we will come away with inspired thinking (wisdom). James 3:17 says, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."
So remember the beginning of wisdom if you want a godly, beneficial end. Selah
Jan Merop of Sebring is a News-Sun correspondent.
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