Monday, January 23, 2012

The Wisdom of God

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. --James 1:5
Having skated down a steep hill in a snow storm recently, after the car came to a sliding stop I seriously questioned my wisdom for starting down the thing in the first place.  We all have mental lapses where we do or say things, which on second thought we would have been smarter not doing.  Smarts are not exactly the same as wisdom however.  Smarts connote personal intelligence (therefore, under one's control), whereas wisdom (sophia in Greek) connotes God-wisdom that leads to salvation or unity.  So James is not saying, "If you are dumb and don't do well on tests, just pray and you'll get an A."  (Surprisingly, I have known some Christians who have tried to sell this notion to me.) No, sophia - God wisdom - is a whole different kind of idea.  It is a steady or constant joining into the on-going enterprise of God's creative and saving acts through Jesus Christ.  The wisdom James is speaking about is a Holy Spirit kind of energy that brings God's insight and perspective to daily living.  It is not a voluntary talent one exercises at will, but a gift that comes through the daily trials and long journey of walking hand-in-hand with God.  The asking for God-wisdom is a multiple times a day process over the course of one's daily life.  As we discipline our minds to pray and not forget God through the hours of a day we do gain a centered awareness of God's guiding influence, which we then can use for ourselves or others.

Greatest God, we need Thee every hour.  Every hour grant us your wisdom to make the differences in life that you have aimed us to make for you.  Through Christ we pray.  Amen. 

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