The most recent, significant circumstance in my life I needed wisdom for was the rebuild of our home after tropical storm Imelda. Don’t get me wrong, I need wisdom every day, but this was different. So many decisions, in such a short time span, needed to be made. There were days my head would pound from feeling the weight of contractor choices, paint colors, plumbing fixtures and sheetrock texture. Not to mention the sheer expense and pace at which we were spending thousands and thousands of dollars. The construction zone is not my forte. Over and over we asked questions and made decisions based on trustworthy and well-intentioned friends and experts, who had more wisdom that we did about these things.
Our lives are full of details that require wisdom. From raising kids, buying homes, cultivating friendships and building marriages, we need help.
Proverbs 1, after clearly telling us what fools do, takes some time to tell us what wisdom looks like:
1. God embodies wisdom 1:20
2. Wisdom wants a relationship with us – 1:23
3. Wisdom has boundaries. 1:24-32
4. Wisdom provides safety for those who listen –– 1:33
I love these verses because it shows the heart of God. God wants to give himself to us. He isn’t hiding. He is calling out to those of us who need his wisdom. He wants to pour out his spirit on us.
God’s love knows no boundaries. He loves you. His love is perfect and infinite and holy. But he gave us a free will to accept that love or reject it. And there are benefits to accepting it and severe consequences to rejecting it.
The same is true of wisdom. He doesn’t force any part of himself on us. He says in James 1:5-6 that if you ask for wisdom in faith believing that it will be given to us generously. But the decision is up to us to ask, seek and receive it. In Proverbs 1:33, the principle is echoed, “IF you listen, you will be secure and free from the fear of danger.”
There is significant sorrow for those who do not listen to the Lord. But he is gracious. He accepts all who turn to him. So, if you find yourself living a life of foolishness, don’t be discouraged. He will save you. He will give you wisdom, but you, like everyone else, must call on him for it.
If you are looking for a parallel story to consider, think about the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. He made stupid, foolish decisions over and over, until he finally came to his senses. He ran back to the father for forgiveness and reconciliation. There he found the heart of the father, ready and willing to receive him. What a beautiful picture of how our Lord has made a way for the foolish––for you and for me.
Let’s answer the call of wisdom.