The Perfection of a Good Life

Wisdom is life rightly lived.

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

   - Proverbs 4.26, 27

Therefore seek the supreme wisdom, not by verbal debate, but by the perfection of a good life, not with the tongue but with the faith which issues from singleness of heart, not with that which is gathered from the guess of a learned irreligion.

   - Columbanus, Sermon I, Irish, 7th century

The Hebrew word for wisdom means something like “skill in living.” It involves how we think, of course, but it goes far beyond just having the right answers or the best information on any subject.

Wisdom is a life rightly lived – lived, that is, according to the pattern intended by God in the day He first made men on the earth. God knows best how we should live; we know wisdom, therefore, when we are careful about our walk (“ponder the path”) and keep our feet moving along the sure way in every area of our lives.

Wisdom gets down to everything we do. We can be wise in our relationships, work, use of our resources and time, conversation, and in how we comport ourselves among others. When we are wise in all these ways we bear living testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the very Wisdom of God (cf. Prov. 8, Col. 2.1-3).

There is always room to grow in wisdom, of course. This is why Columbanus, echoing Paul, John, Peter, and all the prophets, urged his congregation to make “the perfection of a good life” which is “the supreme wisdom” their supreme pursuit.

Jesus put it this way: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness...”

What will that look like in your life today? What plans have you made to seek the supreme wisdom, the perfection of a good life, in every area of your life today?

And who will benefit from such a skillful touch of Jesus through you?

Psalm 111.10 (Manoah: “When All Your Mercies, O My God”)
All they who would true wisdom know must learn to fear You, Lord,
And in that wisdom daily live and praise You ever more.

Lord, we are holy when we walk in love, according to Your wisdom; make me holy today, O Lord! Adapted from Colmán mac Beógnai, Aipgitir Chrábaid

T. M. Moore, Principal
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore