Seek Godly Wisdom

Seek Godly Wisdom

When we think of valuable things, we often think of items with a monetary value. But the the book of Proverbs teaches us that wisdom is much more valuable than gold or silver. Wisdom offers a life of happiness and blessings as a result of wise choices made over a lifetime.


The Thanksgiving season is here, and some of you may be facing delicate situations that leave you baffled as to how to proceed. Maybe you’re invited to activities you’d rather avoid, but you don’t know how to say “No.” Maybe you’re worried about difficult topics that may be brought up at the table.

For years, people have turned to newspaper columns for advice. How many of you remember reading advice columns like Ask Amy, Dear Abby, Dear Prudence  or – my mom’s favorite, Ann Landers? Each of these articles helped people deal with a common human condition: not knowing how to handle a situation. Life isn’t usually as black and white as the answers on a school test. There are a lot of variations. Feeling unsure, we seek wisdom from any source available:

  • Professionals like financial planners, doctors, and therapists are highly trained (and costly) practitioners whose advice we usually feel we can trust. We often make major life decisions based on the wisdom they share.
  • Friends and Family can sometimes be very helpful, but sometime they should not be giving advice. For instance, a guy who had divorced his wife in their first year of marriage once tried to give me advice about my marriage. Fortunately, I was wise enough not to take it.
  • Books and Magazines try to sell us all sorts of solutions to life’s problems. Sometimes I do read something that may help me grow by giving me a different perspective on a puzzling situation. Other times, however, I find myself reading advice from people with an entirely different world view from mine; and this leads to advice that doesn’t at all line up with the life I want to live. Discernment is important! Without it you may accept advice that leads down a path you don’t want to follow.
  • Google and the Internet provide the quickest and easiest access to information, but this is also the most flawed source available to us. It probably dispenses more so-called ”wisdom” than any other source today, especially to young people. That should strike fear in our hearts! Young people do not realize how off-base the advice they receive might be.

I once was trying to get a quick answer on a biblical concept for a sermon; so I popped my question into Google and clicked the first link. (I didn’t stop to think that the first link is at the top because it has paid the most to be in that position.) About two paragraphs in, something seemed fishy. I clicked over to the “About” page and realized I was on the website of a religious organization with beliefs far different from mine!

Biblical Wisdom Comes from God

As we conclude our series on Treasure today, we will look at our best source for advice and wisdom for living: Wisdom from God.

I’m not saying all these other sources will always lead you astray, but they may. Advisors, books, and Internet articles may come from godly people who base their advice on the same foundation as yours. Make sure of the source before you apply others’ solutions to your life.

Today we will look at two passages of scripture that treat Godly Wisdom as a treasure. So far in this series we have spoken of treasure from a materialistic perspective, and we have talked about how we can generously use our earthly wealth to build heavenly treasures. Last week we spoke about the treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven and our salvation in Jesus. Today we are going in a very different direction, yet one that is described all through the pages of the Bible. We will see how Wisdom is a treasure we should seek.

We see the theme of Wisdom from God most clearly in the book of Proverbs, which was specifically written by King Solomon to pass wisdom down to his son.

Proverbs 2:1-6 

     My son, if you accept my words

         and store up my commands within you,

      2 turning your ear to wisdom 

         and applying your heart to understanding— 

      3 indeed, if you call out for insight 

         and cry aloud for understanding, 

      4 and if you look for it as for silver 

         and search for it as for hidden treasure, 

      5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD 

         and find the knowledge of God. 

      6 For the LORD gives wisdom; 

         from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 

The writer places a very high priority on wisdom, insight, knowledge and understanding. He says this is the foundation for everything else – for a relationship with God and (as the proverb unfolds) for a long life of success and protection.

This wisdom is not just something it would be nice to have. It is not something we will naturally acquire with age. We are not to hope that one day we will stumble upon wisdom. No, this proverb tells us to look for it as we would for silver, to search for it as for hidden treasure. We must prioritize the search because of the immense value wisdom will have for our lives.

We must understand that seeking to be wise is not a selfish pursuit or pompousness. Instead, it is the goal God Himself wants us to pursue so that we can see things the way He does and live our lives the way He intended.

We have read about wisdom in the Old Testament. Now compare that with the New Testament and see what the Apostle Paul wrote about his prayer for the church in Colossae:

Colossians 2:2-3 – My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Do you see how wisdom is redefined here? Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all wisdom and knowledge! All the treasure of wisdom is hidden in Him.

This has a massive implication for our world: wisdom apart from Jesus is incomplete!  Yes, doctors, lawyers and financial planners all have incredible knowledge and skills in their fields. They can, however, give some advice that completely goes against the teaching of Jesus. It may be great advice from the world’s perspective, but it may be exactly opposed to what God wants you to do.

People who roughly live by the morals of the Bible but do not have a relationship with Christ (as many people do not) have no access to the complete wisdom available to those who are in relationship with Jesus and are filled by the Spirit.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about this subject because it can sound like we, as Christians, think we are superior to others because of our special access to wisdom others lack. The Bible tells us, though, that God knows the best way for us to live. We are told all wisdom is embodied in Jesus. We who align our lives with Jesus will experience blessings and peace the rest of the world is chasing, but not always experiencing.

I want that for myself. I hope you want that, too.

How to Gain Wisdom from God

If our life goals match those of Paul (that we would have the full riches of complete understanding of Christ and all the wisdom found in Him), then we need to think seriously about how we can gain that godly wisdom.

1) Read the Bible. The Bible teaches us a great deal about how to live. I’m not telling you to turn the Bible into a book of morals telling us only good, moral ways to live. It is, first and foremost, the story of God and His redemption of His people; but as we read and learn about God in the Bible, we learn how we should live and relate to God in the same ways others have done.

Psalm 119:105, 130 (GNT) Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path… The explanation of your teachings gives light and brings wisdom to the ignorant.

2) Ask God. The Bible tells us that if we want wisdom from God, we can simply ask Him. He doesn’t want to make following Jesus and living a godly life so difficult that only the top 20 percent of the population can understand the complexities involved! No, He keeps it simple. He even tells us He wants to give us all the wisdom we need to live a God-honoring life.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

3) Listen to the Spirit. When we think of prayer, we too often think of only the “asking” portion of the equation; but prayer also includes listening. We who have committed our lives to Jesus have received the Holy Spirit of God inside us. We already have the presence of God trying to lead and guide us into the spiritual wisdom only He can give. All we have to do is be quiet and listen, trusting that He will show us exactly what we need to hear at the perfect moment.

1 Corinthians 2:13, 15 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. . . . The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things.

4) Seek Godly Counsel. God isn’t asking each of us to find our own wisdom and do life on our own. There are many sources of wisdom and advice; and while some are no good, some are God-given and very helpful. Part of being in a church and being in the Body of Christ is that you don’t have to make the tough decisions alone. God gives you other Christians to help you think through the situation, to challenge your thinking, and to make sure what you are planning lines up with what God would want.

Proverbs 19:20Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. 

Proverbs 24:6Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers. 

I find great value in having conversations about the tough parts of life with other Christians I trust to view my situation through a godly lens. I am often challenged to think about it in a new way or am asked how a character trait of God lines up with how I am feeling about a situation. That is why I am such a fan of doing discipleship in small groups of people. (That, however, is another topic for another day.)

Before I conclude this section on gaining wisdom, I must differentiate between wisdom and knowledge. Some people think that if they learn all the facts about God and memorize a bunch of Bible verses, they will be wise. That’s not wisdom. They may be knowledgeable, but wisdom is knowledge applied. A knowledgeable person may know lots of facts but still live a foolish life that causes a great deal of relational drama and chaos.

A wise person, on the other hand, can apply what they have learned about God and right living. They can bring peace to tough situations, gain a greater reputation, and bless others with godly advice.

Benefits of Treasuring Wisdom

I’m confused as to why some people may hear a message about treasuring wisdom from God, but then choose not to prioritize growing in that wisdom. Granted, I remember being young and dumb and thinking life was all about having fun in that moment with no thought of consequences. THAT is the definition of foolishness; but for some reason, foolishness is attractive for some people.

My hope is that all of you will walk out of here agreeing with King Solomon, who penned the following words about wisdom.

Proverbs 3:13-18:

      13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, 

         those who gain understanding, 

      14 for she is more profitable than silver 

         and yields better returns than gold. 

      15 She is more precious than rubies; 

         nothing you desire can compare with her. 

      16 Long life is in her right hand; 

         in her left hand are riches and honor. 

      17 Her ways are pleasant ways, 

         and all her paths are peace. 

      18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; 

         those who hold her fast will be blessed. 

Godly Wisdom offers life and blessings to all who treasure her.

We have to understand that this is no guarantee. Life may not be perfect, but with wisdom you are more likely to avoid pitfalls. You’re less likely to be dealing with the police, or with the IRS for cheating on your taxes, or with people who hate you and want to ruin you.

You will be better equipped to handle relational challenges with humility, fairness and grace. You will find greater peace, joy and contentment as life moves along more smoothly.

The net result (which I don’t talk about often because the “Health and Wealth Gospel” abuses it) is that if you seek wisdom from God you are more likely to enjoy longer life and greater financial prosperity. Not only will you experience blessings in your own life, but you will be a blessing to others and to the church. Your wisdom will help others who need guidance. Your wisdom will help this church grow in maturity and follow the paths God has for us.

People who build their lives on earthly wisdom miss the benefits God has in store for all who treasure the wisdom He wants to pour out on us. May we never be found guilty of trying to be crafty or cunning on our own. Instead, may we be found seeking the wisdom that comes only from above.

As we do our part to seek, let’s trust God to do His part and graciously give us what we ask for.


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