What You Can Learn from the Wisest Person Ever Lived
Imagine yourself in a dream talking with God face to face. You feel engulfed in His presence with eternal peace and joy you’ve never felt before. You think to yourself this may be what Heaven is truly like. Now, God asks you the billion dollar question, “If you could ask for anything in the world and get one thing, what would it be?”
I know the probability of this happening is near zero, but just bear with me and think about how you will respond. I would presume that many of us would seek an answer that is considered one or more of these categories: I want Bill Gate’s wealth; I want David Beckham’s popularity; I want Albert Einstein’s brains; or I want Walt Disney’s creativity. Or, simply – all of them!
Now, let me suggest an alternative answer – a life-giving, transformational answer that comes from King Solomon.
To others his answer was utterly ridiculous and mind-boggling; to God, he was spot on: I want wisdom.
If you’re scratching your head why on earth would someone ask for wisdom, I hope God will reveal that there is nothing more important than acquiring wisdom in living life. Here’s what the Bible has to say about wisdom.
“Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing else you could ever want is as valuable.”Prov. 8:11
“Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do.”Prov. 4:7
“If you become wise, you’ll be the one to benefit. But if you scorn wisdom, you’ll be the one to suffer.”Prov. 9:12
Just reading these three verses alone, Solomon seemed to make a wise decision after all. Now, let’s level set our understanding of wisdom which means one thing for the world and quite another thing for the Christian.
Wisdom is simply the ability to discern what is right and wrong. Dr. Charles Stanley said it best: wisdom is “the capacity to see things the way the Lord GOD sees them and to respond according to his principles; seeing the difficult circumstances from His perspective encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes.”
“This differs from how the world thinks of wisdom which thinks if it works it must be the wise thing to do. If it’s profitable it’s the wise thing to do. If it makes me feel good or gives me more security, it must be the wise thing to do. Some of these things are in fact life-destroying. The fact of the matter is, it’s about seeing and doing things from God’s perspective.”
Watch the next video clip where pastor Charles Stanley defines wisdom for us.
18 BENEFITS OF WISDOM
If you still are on the fences with this wisdom deal, let me share 18 distinctive benefits the Bible simply says of wisdom. Again, this is not my words, but the very living Word of God.
“Wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you’ll have a bright future.”Prov. 24:14 (TEV)
“Those who get wisdom do themselves a favor, and those who love learning will succeed.”Prov. 19:8 (NCV)
“Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honor.”Prov. 4:8 (NCV)
“Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.”Prov. 9:11 (NLT)
“Wise people have great power.”Prov. 24:5 (NCV)
“Wise people will gain an honorable reputation.”Prov. 3:35 (TEV)
“Wise people’s lives get better and better.”Prov. 15:24 (NCV)
“Wisdom offers you long life, as well as wealth and honor. It can make your life pleasant and lead you safely through it. Those who become wise are happy; wisdom will give them life.”Prov. 3:16-18 (TEV)
“Nothing will stand in your way if you walk wisely, and you will not stumble when you run.”Prov. 4:12 (TEV)
HOW DO I LEARN TO BE WISE?
Pastor Rick Warren, offers a simply acronym LEARN to help you learn to live the way of the wise.
Listen to God’s Word every day
“Start with God. The first step in learning is bowing down to God.”Prov. 1:7 (Mes)
“It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding.”Prov. 2:6 (TEV)
“A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash.”Prov. 15:14 (NLT)
- Start your day and end your day in the Word of God. Relinquish your deep-seated habits of immersing yourself in activities like watching TV, reading magazine and newspaper. I don’t mean to undermine the value of these, but develop a discipline of starting and ending your day with God. This is particularly difficult to me, so I reserve a Quiet Time with God every day. No e-mails, no Facebook, No gadgets, No books…just me and God. You’ll be amazed how much more secure and grounded your life will become.
Enlist friends who challenge me
“Spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer.”Prov. 13:20 (NCV)
“Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.”Prov. 12:15 (NLT)
- Create an intimate community of kingdom-minded individuals. Seek relationships that are life-giving instead of life-destroying. Seek those speaks with truth, candor, and love. The truth may hurt sometimes, but it’s so much better than sheer flattery and false pretension. Be glad you are not alone.
Ask questions & accept correction
“Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them.”Prov. 18:15 (NLT)
“If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know.”Prov. 19:27 (CEV)
- Be humble. C.S. Lewis said it best, “humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Put the interests of others first and start taking feedback with a joyful heart. The fact that most people are giving you feedback is a sign that they care about you. Listen and accept with a grateful heart.
Remember & reinforce what I learn
“Listen, and I’ll teach you what the wise have said. Study their teachings, and you will be glad if you remember them and can quote them.”Prov. 22:17-18 (TEV)
“Don’t lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning.”Prov. 4:21-22 (NLT)
- Memory Scripture. When you need the Bible the most, you don’t have them. This is something I started to do this year. One verse every day. By the end of the year, you’ll have 365 verses in your memory. This will become a potent tool for sharing your gospel and maturing your faith in Jesus Christ.
Now do it!
“Don’t deceive yourselves by just listening to the Word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but don’t put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves …but once they walk away, they forget what they look like. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and you don’t forget it, but you put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do!” James 1:22-25 (TEV)
- Actions are worth thousands of words. St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is no use walking to preach unless you’re walking is preaching.” James 2:17 also says that faith without works is dead. Only in the true application of Scripture will we become a salt and light of this world. This is arguably the most difficult aspect of acquiring wisdom, but don’t give up. Fall seven times, stand up on the eight. Keep going!
1. Read the Book of Proverbs (I would encourage you read one chapter every day. Proverbs has 31 chapters, so you can read each chapter based on the same day of the month)
2. Read Chuck Swindoll’s Living the Proverbs: Insights for the Daily Grind; Charles Stanley’s Walking Wisely: Real Life Solutions for Everyday Situations; Steven Scott’s The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon’s Secret to Success, Wealth, and Happiness
3. Watch the following sermon by pastor Charles Stanley on acquiring wisdom. Just amazing!