We can tend to think that wisdom comes from putting information or knowledge into our brains. Jesus taught that wisdom is actual obedience or action. To illustrate this point, Jesus taught his followers about the wise man and the foolish man in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27).
The story is about two men who built homes, heard the Word, and experienced the storms of life. Think of it this way: the wise man and the fool are sitting together in church, receiving the same teaching, struggling with the same problems, and reading the same Bible. The fool chooses not to put these teachings into action. The fool does not apply the principles he heard and learned from God’s Word to his own life. In contrast, the wise man chooses to apply these principles to his life. His house is being built on a solid foundation. When the problems of life storm the house, the wise man’s house remains standing, but the fool’s house washes away because he did not build it on a solid foundation. His house was built upon the sand of disobedient actions.
We can think that wisdom would come from hearing and learning about the Word of God. If we don’t put into practice what we have learned, we will not be learning how to be wise people. It is like riding a bike or playing the piano in that we must practice what we have learned to develop skill.
A fool is not ignorant of the truth as Proverbs 10:23 helps us to see, “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.” A fool is rebellious because he knows what is right to do, but chooses not to do things God’s way. Wisdom is both hearing and doing what is right in a way that pleases God first.
Once the Holy Spirit enables us to obtain knowledge by understanding the Word of God, He also enables us to do the Word by putting these principles into practice. Philippians 2:13 states: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
If we fail to do what we know is right, we quench the fire of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We then hinder two of our abilities. We hinder our ability to understand God and we become warped in our thinking about Him. We start thinking wrong thoughts about God’s character such as: “God doesn’t care about me. God doesn’t want the best for me. God is punishing me.” In this we hinder our ability to act in a God-pleasing manner. God made us His ambassadors, or representatives, so we don’t want to hinder our glorifying of Christ’s name by failing to act obediently.
In what ways have you seen the blessings of responding in wisdom rather than reacting in foolishness? I would love to hear from you.