We all know someone in our lives that we consider to be “wise.” According to Webster’s, a person who is wise has “capacity for sound judgment.” In simpler terms, your friend who tells you to ride your bike with no hands because “it’s fun” is NOT the definition of wise. We typically associate wisdom with someone who is older than us since they have more life experience and can reasonably think through different types of situations because they have been in them before. For example, why do our parents tell us not to eat all of the Halloween candy at one time? Well, it’s because one time your parents ate all of the Halloween candy at one time and then had a stomach ache all night but didn’t tell anyone because they were “tough.” Wisdom is found in understanding both the good and the bad, but ultimately choosing the good.
What does the Bible say about wisdom? A good place to start is King Solomon. When King David was nearing his death, he appointed Solomon as the new King of Israel. Solomon did his very best to honor God in all that he did and one day God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” [1 Kings 3:5]. Of all the things Solomon could have asked for; he asked for wisdom! God was so pleased with this request; he gave Solomon wisdom and all the other things he could have asked for (riches, honor, confidence, etc.,) From Solomon, we learn that we don’t just become wise people by default. We have to ask God first.
The best discovery about wisdom in the Bible is in Proverbs 9:10. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Wait, so we have to be afraid of God to be wise? Not exactly. In Hebrew, “Yirat Adonai” means, “fear of the Lord." The word "Yirat" actually translates to “a form of devotion” or “in awe of.” So, our journey to wisdom actually starts with us being in awe of God and respecting His authority over our lives.
If you keep both hands on the handlebar, share your Halloween candy, and read your Bible; you may just be the wisest person you know!