[IHFHBOH] 2006-04-11 - Living or Doing

As a kid, some people told me that I had a lot of book smarts but lacked good sense. I hope that I've gotten better as time has gone by and that those people, or anyone else for that matter, wouldn't be able to say that of me. It actually took me a while to understand that I needed both.

"Book smarts", or intelligence, could be defined as knowing a lot of stuff about stuff. Intelligence is the ability to understand new concepts and processes as well as the ability to put that information to use. You might say intelligence is knowing how to do things well in life.

On the other hand, good sense, or wisdom, is defined as "a moral rather than an intellectual quality" in Easton's Bible Dictionary. Wisdom is the ability to make good decisions or proper judgments. Wisdom then could be summed up as knowing how to live well.

Do you know how to live well or merely know how to do stuff well in life? We can intelligence from books, schools, and even the internet. But, where do we get wisdom. Job pondered that same question:

Job 28:12-28 (HCSB)

12 But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?
13 No man can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The ocean depths say, "It's not in me," while the sea declares, "I don't have it."
15 Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
16 Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.
18 Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning. The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.
19 Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.
22 Abaddon and Death say, "We have heard news of it with our ears."
23 But God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When God fixed the weight of the wind and limited the water by measure,
26 when He established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning,
27 He considered wisdom and evaluated it; He established it and examined it.
28 He said to mankind, "Look! The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding."

Wisdom can't be discovered in the depths of any cave. Neither the highest peak of any mountain or the deepest floor of any ocean holds the secrets of wisdom. It cannot be bought; it is more valuable than any precious stone. God alone understands the way to wisdom and he freely offers it to any who will take it.

Revering God is the key to wisdom. Crown him as Lord of your life. Honor him in all you do. Just ask yourself continually, "How can God be lifted up in this situation?" Pay respect to God with your time, talents, and all your other resources. This is truly knowing how to live well. This is what it means to be wise.

When we obtain wisdom, we can confidently tell others, as Paul did, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:1) We can gain wisdom and help others in their quest as well. No wisdom can't be bought but it can be freely given - by the one who freely gave his Son.

Will you live wisely or settle for knowing a lot in life? Do you want to be a wise mentor, or will you settle for just being an intelligent instructor?


[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted