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May 13, 2008

Do You Lack Wisdom?
Alan Riley

Of all the things that we might desire, the Bible clearly recommends one thing highly: wisdom. 

An attempt to gain wisdom through a “short cut” was part of the reason for the original sin in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3:6 says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon, a man who God blessed with such wisdom that the whole world sought an audience with him to hear the wisdom that God put in his heart. (1 Kings 10:24).  Virtually the entire book of Proverbs is a plea for us to embrace, to seek, and to ask God for wisdom.

Near the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus went to his hometown, and the people there were amazed at his miracles, yes, but also by the wisdom that God had given to Him.  “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.” (Matthew 13:54, NIV)

It’s not that Jesus didn’t have this wisdom as He was growing up – we know that even as a young boy, His wisdom and insight confounded the learned scholars in the Temple.  I suspect that prior to the beginning of His ministry, Jesus quietly went about His work as a carpenter with His father, waiting for the time when all would know Who He was.

What is it about wisdom that makes it more desirable than silver or gold, more precious than any earthly possession?  It is because with wisdom is the key to properly leveraging knowledge and experiences.  During our lifetimes, we all have many experiences and we all learn things.  Whether or not you apply those academic and life lessons to your present circumstances shows whether or not you possess wisdom.

Sponsor AdEver had someone about whom you said, “He’s got a lot of book learning, but no common sense whatsoever”?  That person lacked wisdom.  They may have boundless amounts of knowledge stored in their brains, but without wisdom, they don’t know how to apply that knowledge in a practical way to their daily lives.

A nutritionist who has a degree in knowing what they should eat, but who pigs out on junk food and weighs 400 pounds lacks wisdom.  An oncologist who daily sees cancer ravage his patients yet smokes two packs of cigarettes a day lacks wisdom.  A counselor who has versed in the principles of relationships, understands the importance of the family, and can give advice to others about their marriage, yet leaves his wife and kids for another woman lacks wisdom.

A person who is aware of their sinful condition, and understands the message of the Gospel, yet fails to give his or her life to Jesus Christ clearly lacks wisdom.

Wisdom is that precious gift of insight and understanding from God that leads us to make wise choices in our lives.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.”

Has your life been marked by poor choices?  Have you demonstrated time and time again that you do not have wisdom?  I have really good news for you.  God is a God of second chances.  Not to mention third and fourth and fifth…

If the Bible is true – and it is – and the words contained within it are reliable – and they are – then the beginning of wisdom for you is just a prayer away.  James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

It is never too late to begin walking in wisdom.

Rev. Alan Riley is the Director of Web Operations for Streaming Faith and serves as the Managing Editor of  He is an ordained Baptist Minister and a frequent contributor to the Streaming Faith Daily Devotional.  His personal blog can be found at

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