Wisdom


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We all heard the oft-repeated cliché, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Or as Andy Stanley, the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia, put it, 
No one plans to screw up their life. They just don’t plan not to. [1]
Thus, other than choosing between right or wrong, we are to choose between what is good, better or best. 

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In addition to the good-versus-evil question, Stanley suggests that 
[E]ach of us [must] ask one question that should become the filter for every invitation, decision, and opportunity. In light of my past experience, current circumstances, future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do? [2] 
This is the principle of wisdom: “Where there is no command, God gives us wisdom to choose.” [3] 

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According to Ecclesiastes 10:10, “If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. (Emphasis added) I like how The Message version translated that last clause: “Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle.”  It’s another way of saying, “Work smart, not just hard.” So, we must ask, “What is the wise thing to do?” 
The other side of the coin is that freedom entails responsibility. If God is not going to dictate every choice we make, then believers are not only free to choose, we are required to choose. That raises a critical question: On what basis is the Christian to make his decisions in freedom areas? That basis, in a word, is wisdom. [4]
God made us thinkers. In fact, He commanded us to love Him “with all [our] mind.” (Matthew 22:37c) He wants us to use the mind He gave us. It actually glorifies Him when we do so.

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Thus, when faced with a decision that the Bible did not directly talk about, we can ask questions such as, “What is the wise course of action?”, “What’s the necessary step(s) to take?”, or “Is this the best option?”
In noncommanded decisions, the goal of the believer is to make wise decisions on the basis of spiritual advantage. … “Spiritual” indicates that the ends in view, as well as the means to those ends, are governed by the moral will of God. “Advantage” means what works best to get the job done—within God’s moral will, of course. And “wisdom” is accurately defined as “the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.” Wisdom is the ability to recognize what is spiritually profitable in a given situation. [5]
According to the principle of wisdom, when faced with decisions that would not go against His moral standards, God allows us to render judgment calls, to make wise decisions.

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“Will of God”

Of course, God is still involved in our lives even if He allows us to choose. According to James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Though the context is about how to face trials and temptations, this promise is applicable when faced with a choice or choices. (It’s our choice how to respond to trials and temptations, right?) Are you facing a major decision right now? Take time to pray and ask God for wisdom.

NOTE: This is Day Three of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 8) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Pass It On! (Part 3)” last April 19.  

[1] Ruthie Dean (2014, January 20), “What’s the wise thing to do? #AskIt,” Ruthie Dean, retrieved from http://ruthiedean.com/. Emphasis added.

[2] Ibid. Emphasis hers.

[3] Garry Friesen (2004-2005), “Principles for Decision Making,” Garry Friesen, retrieved from http://www.gfriesen.net/. 

[4] Ibid. Emphasis added.

[5] Ibid. Emphasis added.


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