Being Wise


Child custody cases are always difficult, but this one was harder than most, because it involved determining maternity. Two women stood before the judge, each claiming that a living baby was hers. No witnesses were available, and blood tests and DNA tests had not been invented. How could the judge determine which woman was the true mother?

He said, “Bring me a sword I will cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

One of the women cried, “Please . . . give her the baby! Don’t kill him!”

This response revealed to the judge that she was the true mother. His decision was a stroke of genius, some would say, but it was far more than that. It was true wisdom.

Wisdom understands what is true and right. Sometimes it goes by its nicknames, good judgment, insight, perception, and understanding. It’s the ability to make the right calls. Other words that fit under the umbrella of the concept of wisdom are discerning, judicious, prudent, and sensible. Not very glamorous words, perhaps, but words you can build a life on.

Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put things together. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. It helps us understand how to use the circumstances for our good.

Warren Wiersbe wrote of a lady who was going through great trials. She had had a stroke, her husband had gone blind, and then he had to be taken to the hospital where, they were sure, he would die. Dr. Wiersbe saw her and assured her that he was praying for her.

“What are you asking God to do?” she asked with her question startling him.

“I’m asking God to help you and strengthen you,” he replied.

“I appreciate that,” she said, “but pray about one more thing. Pray that I’ll have the wisdom not to waste all of this!”

To not waste the events of our lives requires us to reflect on situations and happenings. Simply thinking about problems gives us the ability to see the best course of action in the midst of a problem. Thinking brings insight—the ability to see inside, to know what makes people and things operate. Thinking brings understanding—the ability to see life in perspective, put it all together, and makes sense of it.

Furthermore, consulting with others is wise. The proverb says that wisdom is in the abundance of counselors. Why do we listen to others and seek guidance from others? Because they have been through experiences and endured trials we have not yet encountered. They are able to look at our situations more objectively and with varied perspectives. Often, it is wise to learn from their experience so that we won’t have to experience what they have learned.

Discerning parents, trusted mentors, and wise friends can mean the world to us as we seek wisdom. Never take lightly the counsel and guidance of those you trust. Those people in your life help you be wise. They provide a depth and discernment you may lack. Listen to them. Learn from them. Linger with them.

In the end, we have to want wisdom. Wisdom comes to those who press after it like a thirsty deer searching for water or like a greedy man wanting to make more money. You have to go for it, want it more than nearly anything else. Then you shall find it.

Those who arrange their lives around the goal of gaining wisdom will receive rewards that far exceed anything they can imagine. You think you want wealth or power or beauty or long life? Wisdom is better. Nothing you desire can compare with wisdom. Seek and find wisdom.



About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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