Life, But With Godly Wisdom

A Psalm based on James 3:17-18

Father, give me heavenly wisdom because the wisdom of the world is bankrupt.

Your wisdom is pure. The only thing that is pure in my life is my pure willingness to seek after my own plans.

I need that peaceable wisdom because as a card carrying member of the human race, my tendencies lean toward conflict and disruption.

Your wisdom makes me considerate and gentle. That is funny, so many people who have “wordly” wisdom bring pride and arrogance with them.

two men sitting on stool painting

Photo by Niño Piamonte on Pexels.com

That heavenly wisdom makes me want to give up on my way or the highway. Others can advance, others can achieve, others can have their time. I don’t have to be in charge.

That knowable, Godly wisdom is overflowing with mercy. That element that even while I say the word ‘mercy,’ I know it is not common to myself or many around me.

So much good comes from a wisdom from above. And the goodness spreads. I just want to be a part of that kind of goodness.

Why would I need to be partial or be insincere with those around me? What would that bring me? That is a song and dance, that is manipulation. I can live without these things because God’s wisdom brings an alternative to all forms of deception or taking advantage of others.

I am like a farmer who plants peace, waters it with wisdom to reap a harvest of righteousness.

This is life, this is living. Oh that I can receive this. Pour your wisdom on me.

 

 

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When We Are Asked To Be Wise

I went to Jury Duty yesterday. For most of my adult life, I have been able to get out of the responsibility or some technicality has prevented me from being exposed to the actual selection process.

In the case that I was a possible juror in, both the prosecution and the defense spent an hour explaining the particulars of the law as it related to their side of the case. As these lawyers set up a question and then verbally asked the question of particular juror candidates, I found myself in a slight panic. In the moment, and without much reference, we were being asked to interpret how we feel about a particular aspect of the law and the procedures of the trial process. Over and over again, I wished I had their questions in writing so I could mull them over and make a more reasoned answer. Simply, on the spot, I didn’t always understand their questions, even though I am educated person who has a decent grasp of how our judicial system works.

Image result for jury box

Thankfully, I was never called upon other than a few times when everyone else in the room had already answered the same question and I had time to determine a yes or no answer.

My limitations as a human person were quite evident to me yesterday. My mind can only work so fast and it prefers being able to read something rather than hear it. The awkwardness of a court room with 50 other strangers also provided some anxiety that prevented my mind from working at its best. Also, the severity of being asked to consider guilt or innocence of one individual was a lot of pressure and I was relieved when I didn’t have to be tasked with that responsibility.

What we all needed and especially what the 12 that were selected needed was wisdom. Gordon T. Smith in his tremendous book, Called To Be Saints, says this about wisdom:

Each person longs to be wise, and all people long to see wisdom lived out in government, business, and church leadership. Furthermore, the purpose of all formal education…is that we would grow in wisdom and in our capacity for wisdom.

Many people read Proverbs daily, but do they know why they are reading Proverbs? Solomon tells the reader in the first line of the book, “For learning about wisdom and instruction…”

If you still have your doubts about all of this Spiritual Formation stuff and still think you are doing just fine in your life with God, consider your need for wisdom. Consider also that God has set in us a desire for wisdom and has spent much of scripture teaching us what the wise life looks like. And then provided his son to demonstrate that wise life and offer it to us.

May we do whatever it takes to achieve more wisdom in our lives.

A Fresh Approach To Growing Up

Part of what I try to do here on the Grow Up Blog is present a fresh approach to Christian living. I try to push the reader away from long standing guilt driven and unrealistic approaches to life with Christ.

Along these lines is a book I have worked on periodically and submitted as a book proposal to publishers.

Just now, I sent an excerpt of this book to people who have donated $50 or more to my Fundraiser. In order for you to get this book sample as well as the Grow Up Playlist sent to you, won’t you consider donating?

This book sample will tell you why you are not Growing Up and present a vision for your growth in Christian Living that is marked by:

  • peace
  • thoughtfulness
  • freedom to serve
  • wisdom

The only way to get this sample is to donate. Your donation will keep quality blog content coming your way as well as allow me to continue learning and training so that I can share all that I learn with you.

Donate now and enjoy this book sample.

Do Women Take To Spiritual Things More Than Men?

This weekend, I will be leading a men’s retreat consisting of about 7 guys. I began thinking about how men approach spiritual matters and whether or not women approach the spiritual life more easily than men? Here are some of my observations:

Women:

enjoy talking more than men (making sharing fears, doubts, and struggles easier)

are usually more emotional (the deep spiritual experiences may be felt more profoundly by women)

may be more compassionate (the needs of others may be much more important to them than men)

are more communal (being together with other like-minded individuals, usually other women, is important to women)

On the surface it looks like these characteristics would make spiritual formation and growth more of a women’s activity rather than men. Men prefer action and going and doing which sometimes results in skipping the spiritual aspects of the faith. So what is the balance, in the spiritual life, that men provide that creates a more well-rounded communal spiritual environment. I think it is wisdom. As I think about the women in the Bible I think of big hearts and big love. When I think about the men of the Bible, at least the good ones, I think about big wisdom and the ability to speak with inspiration from God. I am not trying to make exclusive designations here, I am just making general observations. For a family or a church to be a spiritually mature organization, it needs both the heartfelt countenance of women and the reserved, big picture wisdom of men.

Just because I am a male doesn’t make me more wise than my wife but I believe that God has created men with a proclivity towards wisdom that doesn’t come as easily for women. Just as women are more capable, sometimes, at compassion, love, and service, men posses traits and the make up to be wise and thoughtful in a profound way. Wisdom is as much a spiritual quality as compassion or love. It involves using non-physical parts of our selves such as thoughts, ideas, choices, and the will. Wisdom may be one of the most neglected aspects of the Bible. Wisdom takes up not just paragraphs of the Bible but whole books of the Bible.

Maybe if churches would talk about wisdom growth rather than spiritual growth they may have more success in attracting men to things like a men’s retreat. What do you think? Are men’s and women’s spiritual lives the same?