We would all agree that we are living in challenging times. We often scratch our heads and wonder where some of the ideas that seem prominent come from. We then try to make sense of it. We wonder who is right, what is the truth and how we should respond. Most importantly, as believers we want our response to be based on godly wisdom and biblical truth. The other challenging thing right now is the pressure we feel from society to embrace societal norms regardless of their truth and appropriateness. So, we need wisdom not only to know the truth, but to know how to live by it even when others are not.
Here are terms and definitions that are very relevant to this topic. We are going to spend time on all four over the next few Sundays in an attempt to know how to be wise in a crazy world.
Wisdom – Knowing the appropriate approach or action to take for a given issue. There are typically basic elements to making wise decisions such as experience and knowledge. Scripture is very clear, there are two kinds of wisdom, godly and worldly (James 3:13-18).
Knowledge – An understanding of all sides of an issue. It’s not just about knowing the truth, but knowing different views as well. Knowledge consists of the facts used in making a decision or taking action. Hopefully knowledge is based on truth, but that’s not always the case.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. (Proverbs 18:15)
Discernment – The process of knowing the truth of a matter. As believers this is a Spirit-led process. While all believers should practice it, discernment is a spiritual gift for some.
Common sense – An understanding of an issue that comes from logic or reason. When the prodigal son was out of money and desperate, things turned around when he “came to his senses” (Luke 15:17).
As we begin this series I’m asking you to pray that godly wisdom becomes very evident to us and that we have the courage to put it into practice.