The GPS in our car has prompted more than a few memories in our family. “In 1,000 feet, take a slight left onto highway 7.” And I sometimes respond (as if it’s listening and might dialogue with me based on my superior knowledge of the town in question – where I’ve never been in my life), “Hmm. But that doesn’t sound right to me.”
So I continue straight ahead. And we spend the next 10-20 minutes working to get back on track as my wife quietly shakes her head and our children alternate groaning and laughing from the back seat.
It’s impossible to receive directions when we think we already know the real deal. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. Maybe sometimes you still are. I know it’s one of my struggles.
Proverbs 14:6 says “A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a person of understanding.” Well, duh! No disrespect to God’s Word. The Holy Spirit seems to have inspired an obvious statement to remind us of a roadblock for a heart that mocks others and a greenlight for a heart that listens to others.
And this makes perfect sense. A scoffer looks down on others, so he or she can’t see or hear anyone above them – even though the other may have higher wisdom. A wise person looks up and finds even more wisdom.
So what are some possible applications for you and me?
One of things we must do is spend intentional time praising God in private meditation on His Word and prayer. When we fill our heads and hearts with reminders of His sovereignty, holiness, mercy and grace, purpose to glorify Himself, plans for His people, etc., then we will find it easier to discern how to respond to others in specific situations. We will remember His character, commands, and plans. And we will be motivated and guided even more clearly by what has honored the Lord in the past and what He promised to honor.
We must also spend intentional time with other believers. Preachers, Bible teachers and simply godly neighbors can be great sources of wisdom – but only when we seek them out and listen. When we have studied God’s Word for ourselves and then see and hear His wisdom confirmed in other godly believers, we will grow in confidence, peace and ease of understanding what right looks like.
And we must be ready when others come to us for wisdom. We must feed them as the Lord Jesus has fed us, listening to their heart as He has listened to ours, speaking about holiness, grace and joy in Himself just as He has ministered to us. Then, as those we’ve led and counseled begin to implimnet God’s wisdom in Christ, He will bless us with even greater faith and joy in Him.
Wisdom is easy for the person of understanding because they don’t have to re-invent the wheel of understanding. The Wisdom of God has already come, telling, showing and giving us everything we need for life and godliness in Jesus Christ through His divine power. (2 Peter 1:3ff)