You Have to Mean It

2 Kings 15:1–17:5; Galatians 5:1–6:18; Proverbs 8:1–8

Wisdom really isn’t all that difficult to find. We think of this attribute as hidden or fleeting, but the book of Proverbs portrays Wisdom calling out to us: “Does not wisdom call, and understanding raise its voice? Atop the heights beside the road, at the crossroads she stands. Beside gates, before towns, at the entrance of doors” (Prov 8:1–3). When we seek Wisdom, she shows up. She’s everywhere. She’s waiting—not to be found, but to be embraced.

The intelligence of Wisdom, the prudence she teaches, is at our fingertips. In Proverbs 8:3–5, Wisdom cries out, “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to the children of humankind. Learn prudence, O simple ones; fools, learn intelligence.” Maybe the real problem is that few of us are wise enough to be what Wisdom requires us to be. The folly of humankind may not be in a lack of seeking, but a lack of doing. If we really want something, we work for it. Wisdom requires sacrificing what we want for what she desires.

And the key to knowing what Wisdom desires—identifying the wise decision—is right in front of us as well. As Wisdom says in Proverbs, “My mouth will utter truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All sayings of my mouth are in righteousness; none of them are twisted and crooked” (Prov 8:7–8). The wise decision is the opposite of what’s “twisted” and “crooked.” If it feels wrong, it is wrong. If our conscience is aligned with God’s, we will know what’s right. The rest will seem like an “abomination.” If we want Wisdom, she’s ours for the having—ours for the living (Jas 1:5–8).

John D. Barry

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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