Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (flesh), and marrow to thy bones.Proverbs 3:7-8
Wisdom and intelligence are two different things, as I have come to learn. I have met many who were given great intelligence, but I have not met many wise people. I have met people who were wise with money or in business, but I would not say that is true wisdom, but rather expertise in a particular subject. At work, I manage a team of employees who are fairly new to the company and new to insurance. They see me as a subject matter expert, but there are still many things I am clueless about. God commands us to not be wise in our own eyes. Instead of striving to be wise in the things of this world, we should desire to be wise to the things of God. God’s wisdom can only be known and obeyed when one first has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
King Solomon, Israel’s greatest king and the wisest man to ever live, obtained his wisdom by requesting it of God. I have access to the wisdom of God’s word in my pocket and it is readily available to me anytime. I find myself not taking full advantage of God’s Word by either not reading it like I should or not applying it to my life or obeying it as I should. I often make decisions based on my own wisdom, and my first thoughts and actions are not the best. God’s wisdom is like none other and I know I must ask Him for it moment by moment as the stress of this life seems to dogpile on me. You will know you are applying God’s wisdom when you start to fear Him, and when your decisions are based on what He says and not what you think. Applying God’s wisdom has healthy consequences as it guides every decision if you will allow it to infiltrate your life.
You have heard of the phrase, “Think before you speak”. In that same vein but more importantly, we must ask God for wisdom before we react (overreact) to any given situation. I think of how different my life would be if I did not lean on my own understanding and wisdom but instead seek and apply God’s wisdom. I think of the second part of these verse and it states it will be health to thy navel and marrow to the bones. The lack of using God’s wisdom has unhealthy and sometimes deadly consequences as we seek our own way and act in a way that has grave consequences.
My new boss texted me last week and sent me a text I particularly did not care for. I thought he came across sharp in his tone, and it was devoid of any niceties. My first response to this text was to respond angrily and defend myself, but I quickly realized this was not the right response and it would not go over well. I felt overwhelmed that day and the text only added to my angst. I had to stop and pray and ask God to give me wisdom in the moment and throughout that day as there was a lot to do. I know being wise in my own eyes leads to destruction, but applying God’s wisdom always lead to the best, God-pleasing choice.
How are you doing in the “hot water” moments of life? Are you leaning on your own understanding? Are you being wise in your own eyes? Do you feel overwhelmed and inadequate to handle the stresses God has allowed in your life? Are you in His word? Does your pride keep you from walking away from a heated moment to ask Him for wisdom in the given moment? May His wisdom keep us from ruining relationships, and more importantly, from sinning against Him. May we experience the consequences of fearing Him and applying His wisdom as it will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones. God’s wisdom is always best and we must apply it liberally to every life situation.