The sixth of the nine words in this “Words” Blog Series is…
Wisdom is more than knowledge, more than understanding, and it’s more than being smart and knowing a lot. Wisdom is when we act upon on the knowledge, understanding and “smarts” we have obtained.
The dictionary.com definition of Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
We can have a lot of knowledge and understanding, but still not act upon it as we should. Just because we have knowledge and understanding doesn’t necessarily mean we are wise. Wisdom is using knowledge and understanding properly…it’s allowing what we know is right to actually affect how we act.
In order to explain this more, and share how this word has been one of the words that has been so important and influential in my life over the past 3 years, I have to be very open and honest about some pretty personal stuff. I promise I will do so as carefully and tactfully as possible.
In July of 2015 I began to discover and realize that my marriage was in serious trouble. I spent the next 4 months fighting hard to save it.
During those 4 months, there was also a lot of fights between my wife (now my ex) and I. I’ll be honest, I did not always handle things well. I did my best…but I have to admit that I did my fair share of yelling and getting angry.
In November of 2015, the end of the marriage began.
Over the next 6 months, during our separation while the divorce was being finalized, I began to seek God in how I needed to be acting in all of this. I was emotionally broken and very angry. But acting upon that was not going to help. I wanted to know how I should be behaving and reacting.
I wanted to be acting in a godly way.
During that time, I received some advice from a person who I consider to be a godly person. This person told me that I had been nice in this situation enough, it was now time for her to feel my wrath.
That is definitely how we as people think and instinctively act. Especially in difficult situations like the one I was in the midst of. Our flesh wants to lash out and act toward someone who is hurting us by hurting them back…we want to treat them the way they are treating us.
I know what God’s Word says.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12)
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well… You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (portions of Matthew 5:38-44)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (portions of Romans 12:14-21)
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth… Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry… But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth… Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (portions of Colossians 3:1-17)
I have yet to find a verse or passage in the Bible that gives me the right to lash out and act in anger. It is definitely how I have wanted to act, and from a human perspective I could justify my acting that way.
But it’s not what God’s Word tells me.
I had a choice to make. Would I choose to react based on my flesh and what this world says, or would I choose to react based on the spirit of God within me and what he says in his word?
I had the knowledge of what God’s Word said. And I had knowledge of what this world says. Would I choose to be wise in the ways of the world, or wise in the ways of God?
It has been a constant battle in my heart and mind, but I have tried over the past 3 years to act with godly wisdom. I pray about it often, and I keep these verses/passages in front of me regularly as a reminder of what God says.
Knowing what God says, and wanting to live accordingly, I made the decision to intentionally seek to not get angry and fight with my ex anymore.
After all, it wouldn’t help anything, would only make things more difficult, and could even negatively effect my kids.
I’m not always happy about it. It’s not easy. At times I don’t do a great job. I have definitely failed on occasion.
But if I am going to be godly in my life, I must be willing to do what God says…I must be willing to not just have the knowledge of what he says, but I must act accordingly. To have godly wisdom means I act upon his words, no matter how difficult it may be.
The more I seek God and what his word says, the more wisdom he continues to give me. Not just with regards to this, but in all areas of my life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. (1 Corinthians 3:19)