If you’re a regular reader at As4Me, you’ll know that the post title is a joke. Actually, wisdom comes dear. It is paid for with sweat, self-denial, and perseverance.
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding.
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
True, yet… we still want advice. We still want the quick and easy way to wisdom even when we know better. We think we’re asking for wisdom but we reveal by our reluctance to take the hard road that we are giving mere lip service to wisdom. Solomon knew human nature. Why would it be necessary to tell someone to come work hard and long for the certain reward? Why should Solomon plead with us to search for wisdom, to work for it? Because we do not believe wisdom is like treasure. We do not understand its value.
Many times we confuse the answer to wisdom. Tell me what to do we say or think. If we’re spiritual, Tell me what you would do or better yet, What do you think God would have me to do? We think the answer we get is a package called wisdom. Wrong! That’s advice, and it might be very good advice. Most often, the advice we receive (even good advice) ultimately isn’t satisfying.
I know better. But I still fall into the trap of wanting a shortcut. I’ve been thinking and talking about teaching David and Bethel about repentance. They clearly don’t understand it. (As David demonstrated yesterday when he stood on Bethel’s broom to ask her forgiveness for being unkind by standing on her broom.) Am I willing to take more than five minutes to actually search for what I need? If so, why haven’t I done it? Clearly, because I want the quick and easy way to wisdom. I am demonstrating my belief that the quick and easy way exists, even though I would tell you it doesn’t.
Yesterday a friend gave me some very helpful ideas about potty training. I need ideas, and I think they’ll be helpful. But really, my friend is doing what I’ve been unwilling to do consistently: taking the long road by faithfully each day working on teaching her daughter to use the potty. I’ve allowed my own discouragement at not seeing instant results and not knowing all the answers keep me from doing what I know is right. To put it in wisdom terms, I’ve been neglecting to obey what I know God’s Word says about loving my daughter, simply because I haven’t seen quick and easy results.
Finally, I show my lack of belief in God’s word when I feel helpless to give counsel to a woman facing a bewildering array of problems with her child. I know nothing of these problems, so how can I help? My despair shows I really believe that what this woman needs most is a guide saying “this is what you should do.” Although a guide can be nice, God has laid up a store of wisdom for this woman and her husband, if they will seek for it. I’ve seen God give inexplicable wisdom in impossible situations. May I convey this hope next time a hopeless mother shows up on my door.
Wisdom is precious. When it is set before us, let us not ask for a polished gem; let us ask for a pick and gloves, and then get to work.