What is wisdom? Devotion question answers
These are my answers to the reflection questions after reading Day 3 of Pastor Phil's devotions on the Book of James. Won't you join me? You can comment here or there, just get into the Word!
I have long known about the definition of wisdom from those who interpret the Bible (not so much the same as the dictionary).
I love this verse because it is a promise from God I can cling to. It is such a simple promise too! Promises from God give me warm fuzzies and tickle my belly.
Knowledge vs. wisdom, although seem the same, are very different. We all have knowledge. We start learning from day 1 of our lives and never stop learning. This is one of the beautiful blessings of God -- learning. Even those who are not savvy to "book learning" will learn in other ways, even if just from life experiences or communications or even just watching t.v. Goodness, with the internet, there is an overwhelming "information overload" that sometimes cripples my mind and I need a break and to back away. There is so much to learn we will never know it all.
I've heard it said that wisdom is an action word, like a verb. Wisdom is putting knowledge into action. Read Pastor Phil's devotion for an awesome explanation about what wisdom is in his words.
As a teacher-at-heart, I love seeing people learn. I love that Pastor Phil points out that wisdom cannot be taught. It is a gift from God and that is the only place you can get wisdom.
I enjoyed reading Martin Luther’s Sacristy prayer in the devotion. I prayed it for myself, in applicable parts, as I read it. Then I prayed an "amen for my Pastors."
Answering the Reflection questions:
1. What crisis or big decision do you face? Have you asked God for wisdom?
Sometimes the littlest things seem like a crisis to me. Sometimes I ask God for wisdom to do the right thing to get out of debt and financial troubles. Sometimes I ask God for wisdom when I'm not sure what path to take and I am seeking His direction and guidance. I am always wanting to know from God what He would want me to be doing with my time. Sometimes I ask God for wisdom in difficult relationships. I seem to have a lot of those.
2. Why do you think wisdom is so rare?
With wisdom comes great responsibility. Maybe God is protecting me by not giving me too much responsibility. Lack of wisdom is an easy way out. Maybe we are afraid to ask for wisdom because it is easier to ignore problems than deal with them. With wisdom comes relationship with Christ. Maybe we are just not connected as securely to that vine as we think we might be. We try to use our knowledge and do-it-yourself attitude (also known as DYI attitude) in our human nature and forget to include God first before we act.
3. Who do you admire because of their wisdom? What lessons can you learn through observing their life?
My Grandpa was a wise man and I did not know it until late in life. I was gifted to know him into my 40's before he passed away. He said the wisest thing to me any human has ever said. He was in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. He never talked about it with anyone, but one day he talked to me and I treasure that time with him. To keep the story short, I had to gently push him to share and at one point of my encouragement I asked, "Grandpa, why don't you want to share your story? It is important for people to know so we can learn from history." He replied, "History always repeats itself anyway." Yes, I know we have all heard that before, but somehow, in that moment, in those circumstances, it revealed a very profound way of looking on life from my wise Grandpa. Of course, the Bible tells us the same in that "there is nothing new under the sun." However, Grandpa's perspective opened my eyes.
I am such a preservationist of my own history through blogging and scrapbooking and journaling, yet all these things really do not matter. I have a strong drive and motivation to do them that internally comes forth. I have knowledge that "children have to learn their own lessons and do not learn from their parent's experiences," and "history always repeats itself anyway," and "there is nothing new under the sun." However, I do not have the wisdom to put those things into practice. I just keep on with these tasks and hobbies motivated by this innate urge to fulfill these goals. Maybe I do not ask for wisdom (another answer to 2 above) because I do not want to stop my activities that I enjoy or am afraid of change.
4. What is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus?
Ah, I think I can answer this question. The standard answer would be "relationship" with Jesus, but I have an example that occurred to me from situations just today. Bear with me as it calls for a little husband "tearing down" instead of "building him up." I have been told by blog readers many times that they like identifying with these normal daily troubles when I am transparent about them.
I realized weeks ago that my hubby had known for a long time that the hose leaked where it connected into the house when I discovered a large pool of water in the grass while he was filling our kiddie pool for some adults-who-act-like-kids fun-in-the-sun time. I did not understand why he let it go and did not fix it when it is such an easy fix. How long had he known about it and just ignored it? My head was shaking side to side in my mind.
I explained to him to buy a rubber gasket because they usually needed replacing once a year and they were inexpensive. I know I've told him this almost every year as we have this same conversation every year.
I learned today when I asked why the plastic lid to the gallon ice cream tub was on the patio table that he was using it to catch the water. Uh? Seriously? That was his fix? For as much water that was on the ground, how would a thin ice cream tub lid catch all that and isn't that just a lazy cop-out solution instead of a fixing solution? I had told him numerous times the simple fix, yet it seems to be his goal (always, always, always) to never do anything I suggest and to instead find any means to purposefully avoid doing my suggestions just so that he does not have to "build me up" by telling me I was right. Whoa be it if he ever had to admit I was right. Of course, he says he never thinks that, but innately that just has to be what is happening inside his head.
Then he reveals to me today that he "fixed" it by getting a wrench and tightening it so it would not leak. What! Okay. Now we really go into that "he has no common sense" thing that frustrates me. Common sense says that if you have to use extra force (it is a science thing too) on something, that the something will break. (No, I did not tell him that -- yet -- let's see if I can resist the temptation of the tongue long term.)
Ah, I got it! That is why we probably have had to have the plumbers out in the past to replace the pipes coming out of the wall, huh? Revelation time is here now. Either he just has that little common sense or he really does not want to allow me to be right so badly that he is willing to override that common sense in order to break something. How many times in my life have I said "I feel like a spend my life fixing things he breaks." Let me tell you, more times than I could count and God only knows how many times.
I am seriously afraid to turn on the water hose. I'm going to bet it still leaks. This is a set up for us to fuss and fight about it in the future again. See, telling him 8 times over the past 6 weeks is not enough. We must set it up for more "discussing" and tension in the future.
I'm going to bet I will never be able to simply unscrew the hose ever again which will cause the subject to come up at some future date again when I have to get him to unscrew it. See, I can anticipate the fussing and fighting already set up for us.
So, now that I've vented about all that [sorry :( ], what does this all have to do with the question about knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus?
I know about Jesus and what he says in the Bible about all the ways I am to be a good wife (i.e. not blogging about it would be a more loving approach) and even all the bits of wisdom in Proverbs about dealing with situations such as this. I bet there are a 100 applicable Bible verses I could draw knowledge from in how to deal with this situation. Yep, I know about Jesus. I even know where to find out more about Jesus.
However, in knowing Jesus, I have a relationship with Him in that I can come to Him and ask Him for wisdom in how to deal with this situation. Which bit of "about Jesus" knowledge in the Bible verses is best for this situation? I have no idea. However, God promises that if I ask for wisdom in this situation, He will give me a gift of wisdom generously. Then I just need to be patient, quiet, and listen.
And there I have it. After typing this all out and focusing on God and His promise of wisdom, my brain went straight to, "put it on your calendar for next Spring to pick up a new hose gasket and make the calendar event repeat once a year and put it on yourself." Proactive avoidance of this reoccurring situation may be best.
See. I did it! Thanks God for that bit of wisdom.
I just wish I had wisdom on how to avoid or deal with as a loving wife all the unanticipated avoiding-doing-anything-my-wife-says-so-she-is-not-right circumstances certain to come in the future. For as many as there have been in the past, I absolutely know it will happen again. I'm off to pray for more wisdom.