The Value of Wisdom

Here's what comes from a purified conscience.

Get Wisdom (1)

and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2.2, 3

What would you ask?
Early in his reign, King Solomon was given the opportunity to request of God whatever he might like. Given such an opportunity, what would you do?

Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom (1 Kgs. 3.3-14). He might have requested anything – wealth, fame, the destruction of all his enemies, long life. But he asked for wisdom. Solomon understood that nothing is as valuable in this life as having the wisdom of God with which to serve Him and others.

Because he asked wisdom of God, God granted it to him, and with wisdom, much else besides. The wisdom of God is a precious treasure. It is nothing less than skill in living according to His divine purpose and plan. Wisdom is what the conscience produces when it processes sound thinking, true loving, and Kingdom values into action. Wisdom is the ability to grasp and demonstrate the mind of Christ, the heart of God, the priorities of the Kingdom, and the life of the Spirit in every aspect of life. Nothing reflects the character of Christ as much as the wisdom God gives us, so that we might serve Him and others. Thus, to gain the wisdom of God should be the goal of every one of the followers of Jesus Christ.

Wisdom is the outworking of Kingdom values in love for God and neighbors, and it is the pure product of a purified conscience.

Wisdom crying
In Proverbs 8 the Wisdom of God identifies Himself as the Servant of the Lord. Wisdom cries out to all who will listen, offering them the opportunity to gain the benefits He offers (Wisdom is translated as a she in this passage, only because the abstract noun, wisdom, is in a feminine form in the Hebrew).

This Wisdom is none other than the Word of God, the second Person of the Trinity, Who came among us as Jesus of Nazareth. And just as Jesus called all the world to turn to Him and find the blessings and wisdom of God, so the Word of God in Proverbs 8 holds out the benefits we might know from devoting ourselves to the pursuit of wisdom. Wisdom is gained through hearing the Word of God, submitting to the Word of God, and being transformed by the Word of God.

What are the benefits of wisdom? From Wisdom we may learn whatever things are noble, good, and true (vv. 6, 7). Wisdom can guide us in the path of righteousness, and enable us to understand the knowledge of God and His Word (vv. 8-11). Wisdom leads to prudence, discretion, goodness, humility, and profitable speech (vv. 12-15). It is the skill by which rulers govern and justice obtains within a nation (vv. 16-20). Wisdom is thus of great benefit, not only to the one who possesses it, but to all the people who have contact with the wise person.

A treasure to be desired
Thus wisdom is greatly to be desired, for in possessing wisdom we actually possess the very character of God Himself, as He lives and works through us to bless all those we meet.

All who keep the way of wisdom know blessing, fullness of life, and favor with God (vv. 32-35). Solomon understood the value of wisdom, and he prayed earnestly that God would grant it to him. But while God granted Solomon wisdom, wisdom did not come to him as a parcel from heaven, but as the result of a diligent quest to gain what God had promised. Gaining the wisdom of God is a work of the soul – mind, heart, and conscience. That means it’s also a work of our bodies, for we must be willing to devote both time and energy to acquiring the wisdom of God. We must study to learn wisdom; we must nurture a strong desire for wisdom; and we must value it as the highest outworking of all our other values and priorities.

Wisdom calls to us as well, pleading with us to learn the ways of God and to avoid the paths of folly, sin, and death. We, too, should make the pursuit of wisdom the highest priority in our walk with the Lord. Let us follow Solomon in his acquisition of this precious virtue, so that we might gain wisdom as he did.

For reflection
1.  How would you explain the idea of wisdom? What is it? How does one acquire wisdom? What are the benefits from being wise?

2.  Why do you suppose we don’t hear the words, wisdom or prudence so much these days? Have these become less desirable? Why or why not?

3.  Meditate on 2 Corinthians 3.12-18. We are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. What does this suggest about becoming wise?

Next steps – Conversation: Talk with some Christian friends about wisdom – what it is, why it matters, how we can get it. Factor their responses into your thinking about goals for this study.

T. M. Moore

This is part 5 of an 8-part series on Purifying the Conscience. To download this week’s study as a free PDF, click here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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. 

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