Wisdom for Grads and Dads
- Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Wisdom is one of the most valuable possessions you will ever acquire during your adventure on earth. “Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11). “Whoever listens to me [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm" (Proverbs 1:33). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom...” (Psalm 111:10). This month seems to be one we are reminded of the need for wisdom: as young couples marry, as relieved graduates celebrate commencement, and as we applaud dads for hopefully being the dispensers of much-needed wisdom.
I have the good fortune of being married to one of the wisest men in the world — yes, I am biased — but Bill is wise! It was Bill’s practical wisdom that has laid the foundation for our 10 Best Decisions series: for couples, parents, men, women, and the newest, 10 Best Decisions for Graduates. Here, let me share an excerpt from Bill’s book, 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make, that shares the source of wisdom, and how to start accumulating a little wisdom for your life:
Since there is a beginning of wisdom, there must a progression in wisdom. We can, therefore, grow in wisdom, insight and understanding about life. So, how do you set a plan to cause growth in your level of wisdom? In short form, you build wisdom by asking questions. The more you learn about life, the more you realize you don’t know very much, which creates a need to learn more. One of the signs of maturity, therefore, is a commitment to ask questions.
The Question of Provision. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). The context of this directive confirms that those who seek to do God’s will experience various trials along the path. These are the difficulties of the athlete who feels pain, experiences setbacks and strains his body as he seeks victory. Those who sit in the stands have many opinions about the game but they are excused from the travails that go along with being a competitor. James was writing to people who had given their hearts to Jesus. They had been born again through a vital encounter with the Holy Spirit and they had discovered the gospel of Christ that had forgiven their sins, given them eternal life and delivered them from judgment. It would logically follow that God’s blessing would be upon their lives. Instead, they were dispersed around the Roman Empire. Many of them were exiled from their homes, many of them had lost their careers and some had lost loved ones because of their faith. They were surprised because life was harder than ever.
The logical question that people would ask at this point is: “Why? Why is this happening? Why now? Why is his life getting better while mine is getting worse? Why do I have to suffer after meeting my Savior?” The why questions are easy to find because life can be confusing from our limited perspectives. James’ advice is, “Whenever you want to ask, ‘Why?’ ask for wisdom!”
Whenever you ask God for wisdom, you can do so with great confidence because he gives it “generously to all without finding fault.” God is generous with wisdom and has the habit of giving more than is necessary. He wants us to succeed and is, thereby, willing to give you all the wisdom you need and a little extra to cause growth. He knows that we cannot process the answer to all of our why questions so he promises to give us wisdom. We may not be able to understand why we are experiencing our current situation but we can always know what the next step is that leads to growth and effectiveness. “Without finding fault” means that God never complains when you ask for wisdom. He will never say to you, “You didn’t do anything with the wisdom I gave you last time. Why should I give you more?” You will never hear him proclaim, “This man only used 10 percent of the wisdom I delivered to him. Can anyone think of a reason I should give him more?” God never reacts in anger, disappointment or frustration when we ask for wisdom. He simply says “Yes,” and then gives you all you can handle!
The Question of Procedure. Wisdom is the ability to know how. When you are wise, you know how to apply truth to specific situations in life. When you are wise, you know how to handle conversations so that people leave the discussion with clear directions and elevated motivation. When you are wise, you know how to navigate through a project so that it gets done on time, on schedule and on budget. Wisdom, therefore, consistently asks: “How? How do I get this done? How should I approach this? How do I apply biblical principles to this situation?”
So if you lack wisdom for your future, your marriage, a dating relationship, your family or work -- ask God, He wants to give it liberally, like the thick frosting that will be on top of June’s wedding cakes, graduates' cupcakes and Dad’s favorite cake on Father’s Day! When you take a bite of frosting, remember God wants to give you wisdom that will be just as sweet for your life!
Bill and Pam Farrel are international speakers, best-selling authors of over 35 books including their newest, 10 Best Decisions a Graduate Can Make, and 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make. For more resources, free articles, and practical help, go to www.Love-Wise.com.
Publication date: June 5, 2012
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