This week and maybe some of next I want to respond to a question raised by two different circumstances, this will sidetrack the usual pattern of posts. The easy circumstance is that today I read “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” which is Proverbs 3:13 in the NLT. I have been thinking a bit about wisdom because someone asked me recently how I can write opinions on this blog about certain areas, one of which they thought was about their life, when that should be God’s domain of judgement? This raised the question for me of “do I have any wisdom to speak into somebody’s life?”

The answer depends on what you are looking for. This weekend we hired a ute to help us in the clean up of our yard. At one point we had my super son in the ute in his car seat, me at the back and his mother around somewhere. My super son decided to be a racing car driver and somehow reached down and changed gears. I had to grab the ute to stop it going down the drive. I shouted to my wonderful wife and she got in the ute and put it back in gear. The series of events was a mistake that could easily be avoided.

I am saddened by many of the mistakes I have made in my life and then to see those repeated in some form by those around me means I shout to save them like I shouted to my wife to save my super son. You see I write some posts because I have found wisdom and in my joy I want to share what I consider the best for people. Now if you want to say this sounds like the newly wed who wants all of his or her friends to get married there is some truth there. We all share our lives with others out of where we have been, for the good and the bad, the successes and the mistakes we have made. And like the newly wed it is not a judgement on singleness, where the newly wed was, but a delight in being in a better place. Thus I think I have some wisdom for those who want it.

With respect to my judgements, opinions and comments, humility begs me to admit I may be wrong, of that I have no doubt, but I will share happily and bountifully to try and rescue those who I see going down a hill potentially into an accident. I am well aware that God is the ultimate judge of both me and those who are at the receiving end of my comments but we all need one another to help us get by.  No man is an island as the poet says.

Now I believe there are three ways we receive wisdom. First there is our own lives and usually this means our mistakes. Second there is other peoples lives and either seeing or hearing about the wisdom they have received. Third there is the wisdom of God. Now my more spiritual friends would like me to put these in the reverse except I am too aware that the order I have written things is how we usually do things.

The idea of wisdom is not unknown in Pentecostal circles. We “live by the Spirit” and at the same time there is a collective wisdom about how to live life. A good selection of this style of wisdom on a a group of different topics is from Pastor Mark Conner on Anger, Conflict, Passion and Worry. Sometimes collective wisdom is pithy and trite other times it can blow us away.

For example from the article on passion I am reminded that if I want a long term successful relationship with my wonderful wife I need to be passionate about her. Many years ago, a girl I sort of knew, had just had an weekend with a gentleman at his residence where he treated her well. If you think I am vague that is all I remember and think I was told. I asked “So is he Mr Right?” and I was told “No, but he is Mr Right Now”. This was not a relationship that was going to be successful in the long term as history showed, lots of heat but no flame of passion. Next time I spoke to the same lady there had been a number of gentlemen in between our two conversations who she had, euphemistically, spent time with. She was happy, “right now”, but long term I think I’d find that is a different issue.

We all need wisdom to live and this week I will reflect further on how I have received it. So what mistakes have you made that could have been avoided with wisdom?