Finding the Wisdom You Need

"Happy are those who find wisdom and those who get understanding." Proverbs 3:13




Though I don’t remember the speaker at my high school or college graduation, these days I am curious about commencement addresses. I am interested in learning what is being offered to the next generation and who is selected to share parting words of wisdom.

It’s sometimes surprising to learn who is asked to be a speaker. What do graduates or their parents think when Taylor Swift, Will Ferrell or Kanye West approach the podium? In fact, comedians are often invited to give a commencement address. I guess we all need a good laugh. I often find myself craving words of wisdom.

Of course, there are words coming at us all the time through social media, our email boxes, and around the clock news outlets. You don’t even have to have an actual conversation anymore. You can just tune into a podcast. The problem is, we need good words and actual conversations. We need community as we celebrate graduations and milestones. We need community as we mourn the loss of loved ones. We need community as we sit next to or lie in a hospital bed. We need community as we try to find our way in life because while can acquire knowledge and some skills, a true and complete grasp of wisdom is beyond us. We can turn to others and receive guidance and support but even that may not be enough at times because true wisdom is not a thing to attain or master, it’s a person. If any of you lack wisdom, ask God and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Pastor Tim Keller teaches that the word logos in Greek means wisdom. As you learn more about wisdom, in Proverbs 8 for example, you can find a connection with the first chapter of John in the Bible. With this in mind, you could translate it this way: “In the beginning was Wisdom, and Wisdom was with God, and Wisdom was God.” Wisdom as personified in Proverbs and experienced in the whole of scripture is a person, Jesus. Keller explains that to be wise is to learn from him and to live with him. *

How often do we need to know when or how or what or why…

The answer we long for, the wisdom we seek can only be completely trustworthy and satisfying when they come from our Wonderful Counselor, Jesus. He is wisdom in person. He has invited us to come to him. With him, we will find what we need.

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* Tim Keller, “True Wisdom”, Gospel in Life Podcast