The Psalmist prayed to God, “Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments” (Psalm 119:73).
I’ve met a lot of people in recent years that I thought were brilliantly smart. In their presence, I felt much like an intellectual pygmy. And though I wasn’t looking for fault, I couldn’t help but notice a common deficit in some of them: they had no spiritual judgment. It wasn’t that they were ignorant. It’s just that the things they had learned and embraced were inconsistent with God’s Word. Their unbelief had dwarfed their understanding of what should have been the simplest of life’s issues.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “A man without a mind is an idiot, the mere mockery of a man; and a mind without grace is wicked, the sad perversion of a mind…Fools can sin, but only those taught of God can be holy. We often speak of gifted men, but he has the best gifts to whom God has given a sanctified understanding wherewith to know and prize the ways of the Lord…He who made us to live must make us to learn; he who gave us power to stand must give us grace to understand.”
Many years ago, I knew a man who had lived an impoverished and rough life. He was illiterate. By the standard of many, he was a hopeless and abject buffoon. One day he heard the Gospel of Christ and believed. He started listening to the Bible on cassette tape. Over time, he became a changed man. He was humble, gracious, sincere, and remarkably wise.
The last time I was with him, I listened to him teach a Sunday-School lesson that blew me away. He still couldn’t even read, but he understood better than most what life was about, and what our Creator-God requires of us.
One of the most judicious individuals to ever live was King Solomon, who said, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7). Solomon also said, “Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Proverbs 8:11).
What is wisdom? Wisdom is different than knowledge. We’re living during a time when there is an explosion of knowledge, unlike any time in human history. Anyone can get an education today. Illiteracy has nearly been stamped out. Yet there seems to be very little wisdom. A wise person knows and comprehends what’s true, what’s good, and what’s enduring. A wise person has the proper set of values, and all knowledge is filtered through these moral standards.
Dr. George Sweeting, former president of Moody Bible Institute, has rightly concluded:
“The wise man, the man who has been given wisdom from above, is the man whose life is an open book testifying to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech