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Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

In the following video, famed neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson, gives a noteworthy speech at the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington DC on Thursday, February 7, 2013.  He refused to be politically correct, and actually spoke out about its dangers during his speech.  He gave brilliant solutions to America’s educational, economic, and health care problems that will hopefully not be swept under the rug and forgotten.  Dr. Carson is a strong man of God, and he wasn’t afraid to speak the truth, even with the President and First Lady sitting just a few feet away.  This is a definite must-see.

 

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Don’t look where you fall…

 but where you slipped. 

~ African Proverb

 ~~~~~

What profound words of wisdom!  “Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped.”  In other words, we shouldn’t look at the end result of making a mistake, but at what caused us to make that mistake in the first place.  Unless we realize what the stumbling block (or temptation) was that caused us to “fall,” we’re likely to repeat the same “mistake” again. 

What would we think of a person who just kept slipping and falling on the same old banana peel over and over… and over again?  We’d probably think, “Now that’s pretty stupid of them!”  (Some of us may have even stronger thoughts about such a person.)  But if we know that a certain temptation causes us to fall or sin every time we’re faced with it, then it should be avoided – no matter what it is. 

I’m sure we can all think of things which have made us fall into sin in the past.  And perhaps some of us keep repeating the same sin over and over.  It may be gluttony, lust, unforgiveness, gossiping, lying, cheating, stealing … or a whole myriad of other things that God considers sin.  Whatever our besetting sin is, we must take actions to avoid the root cause of that sin.  (Hebrews 12:1)

For instance, if a certain person is prone to gossiping about others and draws us into the conversation every time, then perhaps we should limit our contact with that person or even avoid them altogether.  God hates gossip and is grieved when we participate in it.  This includes listening to it. 

Another good example is that if we constantly succumb to the temptation of viewing pornography online, then steps should be taken that make it very difficult to do this.  Maybe getting an internet filter or joining an accountability network would be a good start. 

These are just a couple of examples of what can be done to counter our yielding to sin.  I’m sure we can all think of many more sins and perhaps counteractions that will keep us from following through with them.  But the bottom line is that whatever causes us to stumble and fall into sin – whether it’s a person, place, or thing – should be avoided.  Period.

Here are some very thought-provoking words of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  He said,  “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” – Proverbs 27:12

Just something to think about…

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King Solomon

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.  Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” ~ Proverbs 4:5-7

 

Who among us does not want to be wise?  For thousands of years, humans have searched for the keys to attaining wisdom.  Wisdom was such a desired attribute in the time of King Solomon that when God told him he could choose anything he wanted in the whole world, he chose wisdom.  Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others, studied and discussed the known literature and hypotheses of their time seeking to discover the secrets that make one wise.

So, what exactly is wisdom?  The dictionary defines it as, “The quality of being wise; knowledge and the capacity to make due use of it; knowledge of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment; discretion; sagacity; skill; dexterity.”  It can also be described as “information gleaned from wise men of ancient times” – men such as those mentioned above.

The Bible also has a lot to say about wisdom.   One particular verse, Psalm 111:10, says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;  A good understanding have all those who do His commandments….” So, in order to even begin to have wisdom – true wisdom from God – we must have “the fear of the Lord.”   What exactly does this mean?

The English Standard Version of the Bible defines this nicely in Proverbs 8:13.  It says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth.” So, if a person truly fears the Lord, he or she will hate everything that God says is evil – whether in word, thought, or deed.  This comes from a genuine reverence and respect for God – wanting to please Him and desiring not to offend Him.

Of interest, if we read the entire chapter of Proverbs 8, it is evident that a personified “Wisdom” is speaking.  Here’s an excerpt from Proverbs 8:22-36:

“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.   When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.   Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.  When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.  And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.  Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.  For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

So how exactly does one “get wisdom?”  As we discussed above, we must first fear God.  And because wisdom belongs to God (Daniel 2:20), all true wisdom comes from Him – not the wisdom that the world has to offer, but the unadulterated wisdom from above.  (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. ~ James 3:17) This is the kind of wisdom that we need to make right and just decisions in this life.

The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) So, we also have the ability to ask God for the knowledge to make wise decisions in every situation.  When people rely on their own criteria of right and wrong to make important judgment calls, this is where all the troubles of the world stem from.  If everyone would just follow James’ advice above, what a magnificently different place this would be!

One more point to consider – undoubtedly the best of all:  Daniel 12:3 says: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” This is speaking of the eternal state of those who found true wisdom in this life – those who truly sought to follow God’s ways as written in His Word.  That is why it is so important to study the Bible for ourselves – not just rely on other individuals to tell us what is contained in its pages. And we should want to share this information with others, as well; especially those we care about.

As King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, admonishes in Ecclesiastes 12:13:  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

May we all strive to be wise!  May we all “get wisdom!”  Amen.

 

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1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

                                                                                 ~ Isaiah 11:1-10

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