By Kelly Carr
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7).
Have you ever felt wise in your own eyes? I know I have. When I’m in a situation that involves an area of my expertise, I speak up. Sometimes too often, too quickly.
But I can remember one particular humbling time in my life when I realized I didn’t know everything—when I first headed off to college.
Leaving home was intimidating—going out on my own, moving to a new city, and taking challenging classes. I had felt secure as a teen, but now I was expected to be an adult.
For my first year of school, I went to a Christian college, and during freshman orientation my RA shared devotions about wisdom. That’s when it hit me—wisdom is what I needed for this new season of life. I was in college to learn knowledge, but I needed God’s wisdom to figure out how to become the woman he wanted me to be.
Apparently all I had to do was ask: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
During that first semester, I prayed regularly for wisdom. I wrote it on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to continue to bring the topic before God. As much as I was challenged academically and socially, I also grew spiritually during that time. My prayers for wisdom were answered.
Is wisdom at the top of your priority list? In all the biblical attributes we’re called to strive for, how highly do you rank the instruction to gain wisdom?
Perhaps you don’t think of it as being essential to the Christian life, but wisdom is a gift. It is about understanding God on a deeper level and grasping his grace. Wisdom helps us apply God’s words to our lives.
“The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper” (Proverbs 19:8).
Heed and Ponder
I think that time of prayer during college stays in my memory all these years later because it was the first time I recognized the significance of wisdom. Yet I wonder how often I’ve specifically prayed for wisdom since then.
Back then I was young and I knew that I didn’t know much. I easily saw my need for wisdom. But now? I’ll admit I am too self-reliant on occasion. I start to feel wise in my own eyes again. As all these Scriptures remind me, that’s when it’s time to humble myself and admit how much wisdom I still need. Starting right now.
“Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 107:43).
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