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Posts Tagged ‘wise way’

I don’t want to sound like Master Po from the popular television show, Kung Fu by saying, “Grasshopper, wisdom is the highest level of understanding.” And then a chime dings. But maybe, just maybe, wisdom is just another word for character or plain authenticity?

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you liveā€”not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

For me, it’s still a challenge to live wisely: I have thought about wisdom for a long time. I even had a bible study group for a time, seeking wisdom, studying the words of wisdom, and the promises from operating in wisdom.

I’m putting the cart before the horse, as they say. Wisdom, or character, evolve as a by-product from our individual days and choices. There are no wise children. Their life experiences are not fully formed.

And yet, it’s not about the age of a person. It is our responses to life, to people, to God, that grows wisdom.

I’ve become so caught up in Solomon’s request for wisdom [I Kings 3:1-28] and the scriptures that encourage me to “ask” for wisdom [James 1:5], that I keep thinking of it as an anointing. If I ask, God will answer and wisdom will drop onto me like a mantle.

In verse 18b of this chapter in Ephesians, Paul says, “. . . be filled with the Spirit.” This is more likely the true foundation of all things wise.

Potentially, anyone can have wisdom from life’s challenges, sorrows, and successes. This kind of wisdom is rooted in the mind. But God’s way of wisdom involves the Spirit. And when Paul speaks of making the most of every opportunity, it’s about our relationship with Spirit. Historically, I have thought about being filled with the Holy Spirit as a “swooshy” kind of thing. I had that initial experience as a young Christian and I know it does happen. It’s a kind of anointing, an empowering presence, a wind.

But, Paul is talking about a different kind of filling here. I believe it’s part of this journey of the inner way, keeping all avenues open by avoiding those things, situations, and people that block the light and draw veils over the soul.

Most people know the proverb passage that says, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. . . ” [Proverbs 9:10] but we sometimes forget that this word for fear is closer to reverence than anything else. And where and when do we experience true reverence for God?

Photo by Irm Brown

In my mind, the desire for “places of reverence” encouraged the initial designs of beautiful churches and cathedrals. Intentionally, they were created as places where people could feel awed almost immediately. I can appreciate this reasoning today so much better than I could before. Our contemporary churches have lost this aspect of the worship experience.

In that first study group, I asked them, where do you experience that kind of reverence or fear of God? Their answers were varied but clearly, their answers were all choices to be in those places, with those things or people, and there we are filled with the Spirit.

What conscious choice can I make today to enter the wise way, to be in a place of reverence?

(FD6)

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