Wisdom based on Scripture, but not in Scripture
Welcome to part 3!
In Part 2
We talked about
- the two different types of wisdom
- human wisdom and the wisdom of God.
- the three different individuals that Proverbs 1:22 (NLT) mentions
- simpletons, mockers, and fools.
Our goal was to discern the voice of wisdom. Today we will dive into what wisdom is based on scripture, but not in scripture. It sounds a bit confusing but continue reading for some clarity.
Every bit of wisdom you hear or are exposed to is not always going to have a chapter and verse attached to it that confirms where it came from.
What we do know about the wisdom of God is
- Godly wisdom always leads to reverence for God.
- Godly wisdom is moral wisdom.
- It’s based on what God revealed about right and wrong.
- If you don’t know the bible verse for it, just follow what’s morally right.
- It’s rooted and grounded in character, integrity, honesty, godliness, and the fruits of righteousness.
When you study the bible, it’s essential to know the various literary forms used. For example, narrative, poetry, didactic teaching, metaphors, hyperbole, personification, history, prophecy, etc., so it’s no surprise if you see any of these when studying wisdom. However, many people miss what wisdom is saying based on scripture.
What causes people to miss what wisdom is saying?
- Lack of humility
- There’s no room in your head for wisdom if there is no room in your heart for humility.
- Impatience (in too much of a rush)
- Sometimes wisdom requires waiting. When we get in a rush, not only do we miss God, we also miss wisdom.
- 1 Samuel 15:23 states, “rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.”
- Instead of being stubborn, the wisdom of God involves willing to yield to reason.
- Not thorough enough
- Wisdom doesn’t take shortcuts because it does things righteously and with order.
- Wisdom is thorough and doesn’t skip steps.
- Lack of integrity
- Wisdom is rooted in morality and uprightness.
- Some people are so focused on being popular/accepted they choose trends over truth and sound bites over sound doctrine.
Questions to ask yourself when trying to discern the source of the wisdom you’re receiving:
- What does the bible say about this?
- Will I dishonor God by following after this wisdom/advice?
- Does this wisdom contradict scripture?
- Does this wisdom violate my personal convictions?
- How does this wisdom affect other people, including those I love?
- Have I bounced this off of someone I trust that knows the word?
- Is this wisdom Kingdom-focused?
What to do if there is no scripture on the subject?
First, don’t try to make the bible say something that it doesn’t say. Sometimes we’re so afraid people will leave God we don’t want to tell them the truth. Don’t just memorize God’s thoughts, cath God’s heart when you read/study so you can touch other people’s hearts with the truth.
Don’t just look for scriptures that speak directly to your situation but also indirectly. If scripture doesn’t mention the subject in extreme detail, then it gives us some guidance about what we can do and what we can’t do in general. If you still don’t have some clarity, seek counsel from someone who does.
A great example to look at would be debt. It’s not a sin to borrow money, but the scripture does give us some guidance on debt, and if not followed, it can become a sin. (Proverbs 22:7, Romans 13:8, Proverbs 6:1-3)
Wisdom is such a great topic to learn about, ask God for, and to practice. In part 4, we will be talking about observational wisdom. What is that? Great question.