We Are Not As Smart As We Think We Are

Monday, August 23, 2010

On a typical Sunday morning, as I greet people in the lobby, I will run into my friend, Jim who will shake my hand and ask me, "What do you know?" to which I respond, "Not much." This came from a conversation we had a while back in which he stated that the older he gets the more he realizes the less he knows. He is a smart man and the more I get to know him, I realize that he knows a lot. Through my teen years and into my early twenties I thought I knew everything. Now that I'm 47, have been married 23 years and have a teenage son, with every passing day I come to the realization of just how little I know. This is a good thing. Though Jim jokes that he doesn't know anything, he models wisdom through humility.

Psalm 94:11 says, "The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile." And Proverbs 12:15 says, "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." Godly wisdom is a paradox. To possess it requires that we become foolish. To be wise, I must be unwise. Sometimes wisdom doesn't make sense or seems to go against conventional wisdom, but we have to remember that his ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. When we have to make decisions in the course of our daily life, instead of evaluating those decisions by how it looks to us, what if we evaluated them on the basis of asking God what he thinks? Perhaps when we think something is a good idea it might be an indication that we are on the wrong track according to Proverbs 12:15. What seems right to us might not be right to Him. I am learning that instead of trying to figure out what is the best thing to do, it is best to just stop for a moment and ask God this simple question: "Lord, tell me what I should do." This simple act can save us wasted time and energy in our decision making process at work, in our home and marriages and in our areas of ministry. We will have to do a lot less fixing and spend more time just doing. Another benefit of doing things this way is that God takes responsibility for the outcome so we don't have to carry that weight on our shoulders.

God has a knack for making things really simple. 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." We tend to leave this as our last resort. Instead, it should be the first thing we do. All we have to do is ask. Godly wisdom comes from simply asking.

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