James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I read a number of sports quotes posted, some of which I thought were particularly wise. Here are a couple:
Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you, is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her. – Mia Hamm (former US National Soccer Team star player)[i]
Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else. – Vince Lombardi (arguably most successful NFL coach of all time)[ii]
These are certainly wise quotes and probably explain a great deal about the success these two people had in their respective sports. Intelligence and knowledge are nice, but there seems to be something special about wisdom. In fact, in Proverbs 16:16 King Solomon says: “how much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!”
One day I sat at my desk with my head laid faced down. I was overcome with multiple situations that seemed to require much more wisdom than I felt I had. From an early age though, I had memorized James 1, and today’s verse 5 has always rung loudly in my ears. Overcome with pressure I just cried out to God for increased wisdom. I haven’t done this often, but I had my Bible in my hands underneath the desk and just leafed through it with my fingers and prayed “God please give me something”. When I pulled the Bible on top of my desk it was opened to Proverbs 8, entitled: “Wisdom’s Call”. The entire chapter is devoted to Wisdom. It was one of those God moments where you tangibly feel him at your side. I carefully went through each verse and prayerfully brought forward every situation to God and slowly began to feel that he was providing wisdom for me for every situation. As the days progressed, he confirmed every decision in very obvious ways, and he brought peace to each situation.
In Proverbs 8:22 we read that “the Lord brought me [wisdom] forth as the first of his works”. There is nothing that God created in the absence of wisdom. If God declared that wisdom was to be at the foundation of all he built, how much more should we be yearning for wisdom as we build each day?
We live in a world that celebrates knowledge and intelligence. People are in awe of the person with the jaw-dropping IQ and perhaps the ability to solve mathematical complexities, or the person with the photographic memory. Knowledge it good and is useful, but I would take wisdom over knowledge any day of the week. While knowledge is information you are aware of, wisdom is the ability to take information and make correct judgements and decisions, which can radically change your life and those around you.
I have a friend who reads a chapter from Proverbs almost every day, and it is no coincidence that he is a man I have often turned to when challenged with difficult situations. Spend time in the Proverbs and if you lack wisdom in a particular area, “ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5b).