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The "When" of Wisdom
Spiritual Questions with Scriptural Answers (Part 3).
Now we strive to ask and answer the question, “When should we be wise?”
Gain a Heart of Wisdom.
We begin this study in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 90). This particular psalm is unique in that it was penned by Moses. Some have suggested that Moses also penned Psalm 91 which is certainly possible, but regardless, the Holy Spirit is the Author (1 Cor. 2:9-13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
Consider the following from Psalm 90:
“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fy away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psa. 90:10-12).
We learn from this Psalm that we are to “gain hearts of wisdom.” The King James Version says to “apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The question is, “When should we do this?”
To ask is to answer: We should always strive to be wise!
A Time to be Wise.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is included in what is called, “Wisdom Literature” (refer back to part two of this series). Solomon, by inspiration, included a “time” passage which helps us with our current question of when to be wise:
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace” (Eccl. 3:1-8).
We learn then that different situations call for different actions. Wisdom is being shown in each instance.
Wisdom for the Man of God.
The Apostle Paul echoes this when writing to Timothy:
“But you, O man of God, fee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fght of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:11-12).
Timothy needed the wisdom to know when to “fee,” when to “follow,” and when to “fight!” The same is true for us today!
Walking in Wisdom.
Furthermore, when Paul wrote to the brethren at Colossae, he emphasized the “when” of applying wisdom:
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:5-6).
The word “walk” is a present, active, imperative verb meaning it specifies a continuous action. In all reality, to walk is to live; therefore, Paul says to walk or live in wisdom!
The word for “wisdom” is the Greek word, “sophia” which according to Strong means, “the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight.” We then notice the word “always” which denotes a continuous action as well.
Putting all of this together, we learn that we are to keep on walking in wisdom, always thinking before we speak and act.
We should always try to be wise and apply Godly wisdom to our everyday walks of life. It is not always easy, but by preparing our minds and hearts by and through the Word of God, we will be better equipped for the storms of life that come our way.
In our next article, we will ask and answer the question, “Why should we be wise?”
Drew Suttles is a minister for the Quitman church of Christ in Quitman, Georgia, and one of my best friends in this world. They live-stream all their Bible classes and sermons on their YouTube channel.
Drew also hosts the “Weathering the Storm” podcast on the Scattered Abroad Network. Drew talks about facing life’s challenges as a child of God. His podcast will be a blessing to your life.
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