Cultivating Wisdom in Practical Ways
In Proverbs 8:11, it says “For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.” If the Bible states that wisdom is far more precious than rubies, one the most valuable objects in the ancient world, it should also be important for us to invest in pursuing wisdom…intentionally.
In this day and age, wisdom may be undervalued or overlooked. Some people don’t know the meaning of wisdom and often disregard it. They may think that “wisdom just means smart” or that you need to be old to be wise. These are some misconceptions about wisdom.
You cannot attain wisdom in 1 day. It must be fervently pursued over a long period of time and the truth is – it’s no easy feat. You also can’t stumble upon having wisdom, it will only come from God and you have to do your part as well.
What is wisdom then?
Wisdom begins and ends with the fear of the Lord. In Proverbs 9:10, it states “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Wisdom is the pursuit of godliness, making choices with the knowledge of God’s Word and His Will. In other words, wisdom begins with reverence for God, a fear of Him and His Word.
How does this look in day to day life? Here are 5 ways to cultivate wisdom in your life.
1. Take time to reflect
Go to a cafe, sit down and bring out your paper and pen. Self-assess yourself and what you’ve done in the past 7 days. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the first thing I thought about in the morning?
- Who did I spend the majority of my time with?
- How much time did I spend at work? How about at home?
- What are my values and priorities?
- How do I feel about how I spent my past 7 days?
- Have I talked to people that truly matter in the past 7 days?
- If I were more mindful about who and what I spent my time doing, how would the next 7 days look? How do I feel about that?
It’s important to be honest with yourself for a more accurate representation of you. Reflect on who your friends are. Reflect on how you treat your family. Reflect on how you spend your time. Figure out what you value most.
2. Spend time in God’s Word, consistently
Spending time to regularly read and enjoy God’s Word is a wise investment of your time. When you get to know God and His Word, you can begin to understand Him more. You will become familiar with His promises which are of utmost value in this life on Earth.
Don’t know where to start? Read Proverbs, a chapter a day for a whole month. Don’t just read and close the Bible – take the time to try and understand the history, the background, seek God’s guidance and understanding on what you’re reading.
3. Listen, read and learn
Listen to other people’s opinions. Listen to other people’s perspective. Listen to podcasts, audiobooks or the radio. People may have different opinions on various topics from you, but listen. It’s important to use discernment when listening to others and ensure it lines up with what the Bible says.
“Who is wise? One who learns from every man.” – Unknown
Reading books is a great way to learn and expand your mind. Wise people read differently, in the sense that they think broadly and deeply about what they’ve read. They also choose the topics purposefully and apply what they’ve learnt to their lives.
Learn about what you’ve heard or read. Take it in, absorb the facts, the opinions and apply it to your life.
4. Find a mentor
A mentor is found, not given. You will have to work hard to find someone who will mentor you but it is worth it. When choosing a mentor, you can look at their lives and see if you think they have lived a life of wisdom. Again, this does not mean that they have “perfect” lives – there’s no such thing. Choose someone who fears and honours God, their families and their values. Take them to coffee and get to know them a bit deeper. If you find that you’re a good match together, be brave and ask if you can pursue a purposeful, spiritual friendship where you meet regularly and learn from the person and their experiences.
5. Simply ask
Did you know that you can simply ask for wisdom? James 1:5 says you can ask for wisdom and it will be given to you. If you know God, when He makes promises, He keeps His Word. Don’t be ashamed to ask for wisdom, God wants to give it to you. When you have tough decisions to make, reflect on James 1:5 and ask God for wisdom. If you can, memorise the verse so you can recite it during times of hardship.
The pursuit of wisdom
Pursuing wisdom is not easy, but it is an honourable pursuit. Wisdom won’t fall into your lap, you have to ask God for it, make an effort to work at it, and seek guidance from those around you. Wisdom is available to those who want to pursue it. That pursuit can start today.
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