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You can tell a person’s spiritual condition as you observe where he gets his wisdom and strength from.

David, together with his mighty men just lost their wives and children to the Amalekites. His men even thought of stoning him to death as a result. He cried so many tears that the Bible said that he no longer had any strength left to weep.

But he found strength in the Lord His God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

He later inquired of the Lord if they were to pursue the Amalekites.
God told him to go for it.

Right about the same time King Saul was seeking wisdom. But Saul looked for it through the witch of Endor. This was the beginning of a downward spiral spiritually.

Here is where you can observe one’s spiritual condition.
Saul sought wisdom through worldly means.
David sought it from God who knows all for He is the Alpha and Omega, knowing the end from the beginning.

When push comes to shove, who do you run to for wisdom and strength?

The Scriptures are readily available for us. His Word is our primary source for insight about life and living.

Let’s approach Him who not only knows everything but desires the best for us at will ultimately bring Him glory.

Blog Banners.001Wisdom is seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

Our children today are very smart. My eldest son actually has an IQ of 160. My second son can solve a Rubix cube in 30 plus seconds. My daughter’s musical ability is stellar. And my youngest son who is 6 years old is genius at being funny.

Kids these days can know a lot more from their parents because of Google and You Tube. The information they can gather over the internet is just limitless. (Read a recent blog I wrote about it.)

But as parents who have been entrusted with these amazing brains, how can we even help them if they know more about us? Well, they don’t (know more about us). Smart doesn’t necessarily mean wise. Wisdom comes from experience. Wisdom is applied knowledge.

Here are a few things we can do:

Teach them God’s standards from an early age.

Proverbs is a great way to impart wisdom. Since there are mostly 31 days in a month and 31 chapters in Proverbs, going through one chapter per day with them may be a good start. You may not need to read the whole chapter but simply choose a proverb or two that may apply to something they’re going through at the moment.

Remember that the goal is to train them to become fully functioning adults.

Our desire is to wean them off from us and get them connected to God. The trajectory is that as they become less dependent on us, they will become more dependent on God.

Dependence DIagram

Teach them to seek God through His Word, through prayer and through the counsel of godly mentors.

Remind them about the ‘best question ever.’

Andy Stanley proposes that once we’ve met Christ, the major question is no longer “is this sin?” or “is this legal or illegal?” or “is this moral or immoral?” Many times, we know the answer to these questions. But it’s the little decisions that lead up to that one big fall is what gets us.

He proposes that the best question ever is no longer “is it moral or immoral?” but “What’s the wise thing to do?” It may sound very simple but when we teach our kids this question, it will be incredibly helpful in making the right decisions.

Is it wrong to be in the car parked in a dark area of the village past midnight with your boyfriend? It’s not sin but it’s not necessarily wise.
Is it wrong to watch You Tube seven hours a day? It’s not wrong but it’s not necessarily wise.
Is it wrong to surf the internet all by yourself locked in your room past midnight without internet porn filters? It’s not sin but it’s also not wise.
Is it sin to eat ice cream every meal, every day? Not necessarily but it’s also not wise.

It’s the small decisions that lead up to that one big fall that gets to us.
This question is a good one to teach our kids.

May God give us discernment and lead us as we parent the next generation who rises up before us. I know we are all busy but I pray that we would be able to invest time in imparting wisdom to these precious ones that we’ve been entrusted with.

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thearkev/

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My wife and I were in a wedding recently.  Jenn was asked by a friend on wisdom what to do with her current situation. This friend of ours was in a great company with substantial compensation, working in a beautiful city abroad.

But she felt unfulfilled, unsure and dissatisfied. Jenn was asked what our friend should do.  My wife who has great wisdom gave an insight that I thought was worth sharing.

Invest your life in something that will yield eternal dividends.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   (Matthew 6:19,20)

Does that mean she should get into ministry? Was Jenn suggesting that our friend get into church work? Did she imply quitting and become a missionary? Absolutely not.

Investing our life in something that yields eternal dividends entails finding what God is doing and contributing to accomplishing that goal in your own little way.

To some, it may be earning beyond what they need monthly so that they can help ministries that reach people who haven’t heard of Christ. For others, it may be using your talents to advance the kingdom of God through arts, media, athletics, music, and others. For certain people, it may be staying where they’re at and finding God’s purpose for the platform they have at the moment.

But the most important thing is to find out what God is doing and then fling your life into it.

I love what Steve Murrell said,

“It doesn’t matter how we will be remembered.  What matters is if we did what God told us to do.” 

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord for putting me where I am today. Show me if this is where I need to be or if there’s a better place You’d be able to use me to share Your love to the people I encounter. May I understand the purpose of my season and discern when my time is up so I can move on to Your next assignment for me. The most important thing is that I am in the center of Your will, doing what You’ve called me to do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

My 10 year old son, Ryan and I went on a trail with our bikes this morning.  Before going through the steep mounds and narrow trails, I gave him a few instructions. I told him that if he wants to fix something like adjusting his helmet or taking out dirt on his pedal, he will need to stop to do that first before continuing conquering the trail.

I also told him that if he is going through a mound he calculates might be too difficult for him to handle now, there’s no shame not going through it this time around. We can conquer it another time.

Being scared is different from being wise.

Since he was a child, we’ve trained him to be fearless.
And that is just what he is today.
To date, he has 30 stitches all over his body.

However, I’m coming to a point in training him to teach him that wisdom doesn’t equal fear. Having the wisdom to restrain is not equal to a lack of courage. Studying the trail is better than breaking your arm. We don’t have to conquer that part of the trail now. But as we gain experience, we will also gain wisdom.

This doesn’t just apply to my 10 year old son. This applies to all of us.

People feel smarter these days because of Google.
They can type a topic and they can gain knowledge from the sites and blogs almost instantaneously.

However, being smart is different from being wise.

Wisdom is gained from experience.

You may know a lot but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have wisdom.

This is why we have coaches, mentors, small group leaders and people in our lives who we can look to for insight, advice and wisdom. Do not miss that opportunity.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. (Proverbs 19:20)

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

Take advantage of the time you have with wise mentors, coaches and parents.
If you have none, maybe it’s time you seek one out.

FOOL10logoI read a proverb to my kids over breakfast. I often do.

I have breakfast with them every morning before going to school for a couple reasons…

  • To connect with them
  • To set their day off on the right direction – with God’s word.

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This morning, I read Proverbs 26:11 , “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

Pretty graphic word picture.  I asked my kids, Nathan, Janina and Ryan if they knew what it means for a dog to return to its vomit.

Janina says, “it’s when a dog goes back to his ‘suka’ and eats it!”

To this, Ryan answers, “Whoa!!!! Cooooooool!”

I think he missed the point.