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Wednesday the 13th of September 2006

05:31:24 PM (5609 days, 14h, 33min ago)

Recognizing Wisdom


There is a vital difference between God-given wisdom and street-smart shrewdness.

In Sunday's sermon our minister Robert Childs described the aspects of true wisdom.

Wisdom is not a function of the processes of the rational mind dealing with material and mathematical facts.  It's not a matter of how much you know.  It's not a matter of figuring the angles for material gain.

Wisdom is, instead, a function of personal character, a softening of each individual's heart that motivates kind, considerate, and just conduct towards all people, great and small.  Wisdom also requires discretion, discernment, and humility.

What are the characteristics of a wise person?

FIRST, a clear mind.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 states:  "Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things?"

Matthew 13:15 states it, "For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes."

Matthew 7:5 tells us, "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

The fool sees only his apparent self-interest.  The wise person has a clear mind that seeks to recognize the consequences of words and deeds upon others.

SECOND, cheerfulness.

The wise person's character gives him the perspective to remain cheerful in adversity and prosperity alike.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 concludes:  "Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance."

Proverbs 15:13-15 tells us, "A happy heart makes the face cheerful ....  the cheerful heart has a continual feast."

James 3:10-12 tells us, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear  olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

THIRD, discreet speech.

Ecclesiastes 8:4 asks, "Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

We must think before speaking; we must ask ourselves if what we are about to say, even if true, will needlessly hurt someone else.

Proverbs 12:18 tells us, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healings."

And Matthew 15:10-19 says, "Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand.  What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' ...  But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."

FOURTH, discernment.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."

Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 " ...  and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.  For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter."

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 1:9-11, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."

FIFTH, humility.

With all our scientific knowledge and our presumed powers over the forces of nature, we must never forget that, " No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death."  (Ecclesiastes 8: .

James 3:13 observes, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom."

CONCLUSION, wisdom from God brings true happiness.

"Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.  Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."  (Ecclesiastes  5:18-20).

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