'Want to be Truly Smart?'
Wednesday, July, 5, 2017 | 11:26 AM | by Munholland
What does it take to be truly smart? Many people think of being smart as knowing a lot of things, having quick access to facts in your mind. At another level, being smart means that you know what those facts mean - understanding how facts relate to one another, answering the questions of how and why. Deeper still is wisdom, knowing what to do with the knowledge and understanding, that you have. Wisdom helps us know what to do at the right time in the right way. I have known people who knew a lot of facts and had incredible memories, but were not wise. Their lives took many unfortunate turns with foolish decisions made.
Proverbs helps us understand the difference between the wise and the foolish person. We need this because each of us is foolish in some ways. Proverbs is full of sayings that help us understand how to be wise in relationships, in business, in productiveness, in community, in caring for the poor, in caring for animals, in leadership, and - most importantly - in our relationship with God. Through the use of foils, we learn the outcome of walking down a foolish road. However, the great thing about Proverbs is that its emphasis is on how to live a blessed, fulfilling life that builds others up, strengthening family and community.
Perhaps that is why Paul prays for the Christians in Colossae:
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. (Col 1:9-11) Paul points out that knowledge, understanding, and wisdom come from God. We don't have to reinvent how to live a good life, God has laid it out before us and continually leads us in it through his Spirit.
Are you facing a tough decision in life right now? Are you struggling at work, home, or in another group? Turn to God. Ask for knowledge. Seek understanding. Knock on the door of wisdom. 'If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.' (James 1:5)
I encourage you to join the Munholland congregation in reading through Proverbs this month. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and 31 days in July. Prayerfully read one chapter of Proverbs each day, and you will grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. By the end of the month you will be a whole lot smarter.
Blessed to be a blessing,