The need for wisdom in our lives.

You may have read about the drunk driving charge and arrest of 18 Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps.

This is his second one and some believe that it will adversely affect his ability to keep his corporate sponsors that allow him to rake in millions of dollars each year.

“’The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth — and Phelps is digging deep,’ said Dean Crutchfield, a New York-based brand consultant.

Phelps lacks wisdom, and this lack might cost him millions of dollars in lost ad revenue every year.  Not only this, but his drunk driving not only puts his life at risk but also endangers the lives of others who might become the victims to his criminal driving habits.

Wisdom is a topic I never tire of and have written about on this blog:  here and here and here.  The entire subject of wisdom is one that presents to my mind a never ending fascination.

I often ask myself:  Do I have wisdom?  First, let’s review how important wisdom is:

“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.”  Proverbs 3:13-14 (NASB)

But exactly what is wisdom?  This is not easy to define, but information from one of my prior posts will help:

“The purpose of Proverbs is to guide the reader into wisdom, a word with many nuances.  It is related to the intellect and the control of human behavior.  It is a way of thinking about reality that enables us to pursue what is good in life.  Through wisdom, God reveals what the values of life are and how they may be achieved.” *

Here is one of the best definitions of wisdom I have discovered:

“Wisdom in Scripture means choosing the best and noblest end at which to aim, along with the most appropriate and effective means of achieving that end…In light of the wisdom literature of Scripture, Christian wisdom means making the ‘fear of the Lord’—reverent worship and service of Him—the goal of life (Prov. 1:7; 9:10; cf. Eccl. 12:13)”*

Wisdom is that mysterious attribute that singularly describes the mind of God and which each of us, if our lives would be lived in a manner that is creative, moral, upright and healthy, must also possess.  Clearly, few people walk around with wisdom being their guiding force in life, and Michael Phelps certainly lacks this vital quality in his life.

I’m not singling out Phelps and suggesting he is the only person with a similarly high profile who lacks this important attribute; I could add any number of movie stars, celebrities, sports figures, politicians, businessmen, criminals, etc. that are equally, if not more so, lacking in wisdom than Phelps.  All one has to do is read the latest news and you will find ample examples, overwhelming even, of people who make the most astonishing messes out of their lives by their foolish decisions.

To be fair, I only have to look no farther than my own life to give to the world an example of someone who has made innumerable and unwise decisions.   But the Lord is merciful, and somehow we plow through these self-made storms of disaster and lead somewhat meaningful existences.

I share this because I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I believe I am immune to making foolish and unwise decisions, like Phelps.  On the contrary, Phelps is lightyears ahead of me in making far better decisions with his life than I have with mine.

At least, from my knowledge, he has not been married and divorced, and this singularly wise decision will save him an entire lifetime of pain and heartache, as well as saving him an incredible amount of money.  If he thinks losing corporate sponsorship money over this latest drunk driving charge is hefty, wait until he calculates what he will lose monetarily if he ever goes through a nasty divorce.  That will be peanuts in comparison.  Just ask Tiger Woods.

It is true that, as we age, we often look back and wish we could live our lives over again knowing what we now know.  In researching the origin of this phrase, “look back and wish we could live our lives again,” I stumbled upon this song I never heard before:

The words are in the description.  Catchy tune that packs a powerful and meaningful punch with the lyrics.

Spend time in studying the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament.  Let these ancient words of wisdom penetrate your heart and mind until your soul is immersed in the wonder of their meanings.  Hopefully, they will help guide you into making lasting decisions that will do you good, all the way to the end of your earthly days.

*Note from “The Reformation Study Bible” by Ligonier Ministries.

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