We have all done things where – afterward – we say, “I can’t believe I did that! I can’t believe I said that / thought that / bought that / had a relationship with him or her” and on and on and on…
What continually amazes me about the 21st century in which we live is that there is no shortage of information on any topic, issue, problem, or struggle that we face. And while we have plenty of information to pursue, wisdom is a rare commodity.
The word “wisdom” appears 56 times in the book of Proverbs. Fifty six times!
In Proverbs 13:14 we read that “the teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.” A FOUNTAIN OF LIFE!! Not a “fortune cookie” for life. Not just a “nice saying” to live by. No, “the teaching of the wise is a FOUNTAIN of LIFE!”
Now this sounds great, but we all know from our own experience and from the experiences of others that FOOLISHNESS comes much easier! In fact for some of us – being foolish seems to be quite natural.
One of the most well-known passages in Proverbs is 3:5-8. Eugene Peterson in The Message translation puts it this way:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all . Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! (Proverbs 3:5-8)
What follows is Andy Stanley’s wonderful “Three Step Approach” for how to pursue wisdom before any choice we make which can save us from so many destructive and deadly outcomes in our lives. It’s a great tool for us as parents to use; it’s a great tool for our marriages; and it’s a great approach for us to teach our kids.
How to Pursue Wisdom
Step #1 “In light of my past experience, what is the wise thing to do?” In light of what I know about myself, in light of what I know about my short-comings, my temptations, my weaknesses, what is the WISE THING TO DO?
Step #2 “In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing to do?” In light of my current finances, in light of my current roles, what is the WISE THING TO DO?
Step #3 “In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do.” So many of the decisions we make now rob us of our desired future. We may want to have children who love and adore us when they are older. However, we don’t give them the time of day right now. We may want to have happy, healthy marriages, but we are unwilling to call off an unhealthy friendship with someone of the opposite sex. Think about this – IF we made our present decisions in light of our desired future many decisions would be made differently.
If we want to have money in the bank and money for future needs, that means we can’t always buy the newest car, the nicest house, the biggest TV nor have the most extravagant vacations.
If we want to have a marriage that endures with joy, intimacy, honesty, transparency and gentleness, we need to understand that we can’t have that on only ten minutes of relational investment every week.
So… when that next decision comes your way (big or small), be sure to run it through the grid of those three questions:
#1 “In light of my past experience, what is the wise thing to do?”
#2 “In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing to do?”
#3 “In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do.”
Pursuing Wisdom with you,
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