Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
When I was three, we visited my grandparents’ home. Inside the window of the stairwell was a fan with metal blades. My mother warned me that if I touched it, I would hurt myself. She gave me the knowledge, but I lacked proper follow-through. Eventually, I reached out and my fingers contacted those rotating blades. Forty years later, my hand still bears the scar. I wasn’t wise.
Wisdom is not the same as book smarts, a high IQ, or even common sense. If you have knowledge, you are smart. If you have knowledge and the right follow-through, you are wise.
At least, that’s how we describe worldly wisdom. The Bible, however, tells us about something even more important—godly wisdom. Godly wisdom is knowing the God of the Bible and putting what we know about him and what he says into practice in our lives. Sadly, like a three-year-old who puts his fingers into the blades of a spinning fan, we are often spiritually unwise. We know what God tells us is right and wrong, what is good for us and what is bad. But we decide to do what is wrong and what is bad for us. We aren’t wise.
What should God do with such people? He could have simply said, “You fools!” and had nothing more to do with us. But he didn’t. Instead, he sent his Son Jesus Christ who lived a life of perfect godly wisdom. And he gives us the credit for it. Through faith in his perfect wisdom, God sees us as being perfectly wise. And, by his Holy Spirit, he grants us more and more godly wisdom. He empowers us to put his word into practice in our lives.
May he do just this for you this day.
Lord Jesus, you are the wisdom of God and my wisdom too. Forgive me for my foolishness. And help me follow through, loving you and living for you. Amen.
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