Pastor's Corner - July 11, 2019
You can become a man or woman of wisdom
July 11, 2019 | View PDF
PASTOR JIM NEAL
“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” -- Abraham Lincoln
Doesn’t it seem as you look around, read the newspaper or listen to or watch the daily news that one of the key concepts missing in all of humanness is the quality of wisdom? A very old dictionary that I have -- actually the 1953 College Edition of Webster’s New World -- defines wisdom in this way: “the quality of being wise; the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding.”
As we watch and read the pundits of politics, economics, academia and even religion, and measure them by Webster’s definition, I must admit I wonder if they do base their words and actions by knowledge, experience and understanding. Am I alone or biased to believe that it seems as though most decisions of extreme importance seems to be based on what is either socially and politically advantageous or what appears to “feel good” at the moment of decision.
Where are the men and women of conviction and “backbone”? Those who are more headstrong on doing what is correct and expedient for the country, business, church or home. Men like President Abraham Lincoln who stood for what was right and holy when many attacked him personally not to mention politically.
However, it is not just in leadership. I read a quote from a foreign dignitary who said the USA as a country can survive bad presidents and legislators for a season, but what we cannot survive a majority of constituents who are insistent on voting for leaders simply because of their party affiliation rather than their stand on issues of moral value or a vote that grants them more free money and benefits from the government.
Is there an answer or solution – yes – yes -- a thousand times yes-- just a cursory glance into the Wisdom Literature of Scriptures (Book of Proverbs) provides us an answer. Proverbs 4:5: “Get wisdom! Get understanding!” Proverbs 16:16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” A third example is found in verse 19:8: “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.” Those are just three as the entire book of Proverbs is given to grant men and women wisdom and understanding in literally every aspect of life.
Finally, a how to verse on wisdom is found in the book of James, chapter 1 and verse 5: If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who will grant it liberally and without regard of persons….” And that is a promise for every decision, obstacle or problem you face today, tomorrow and forever. Re-read the old definition of wisdom from Webster and set your sights on being a man or woman of wisdom and watch your world become new.
Jim Neal is pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Shafter.