Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put the ways of childhood behind me.” In other words, Paul says that we all have to grow up sometime! How do we do that though? Everyone is bound to grow physically with age, but Paul references not just to physical maturation but to mental and spiritual development as well. Thus, the emphasis on the talking, thinking, and reasoning that need to grow. The words of Proverbs Chapter 3 written millennia before give aid.
Within this scripture, an author who is presumably Solomon speaks to one who he references as “my son.” Was it his actual son who was on the verge of becoming an independent age? We don’t know. However, what we do know is that the author speaks to the son with endearment and encouragement. He wants the son to succeed in life, and he implores him to seek God’s wisdom above all else. The concept of wisdom is one that is often ill equated to words such as “intelligence” or “common sense.” Widsom isn’t intelligence because people who are book smart fail horribly at understanding it. Nor is wisdom. It can’t be achieved by simply observing human experience or logical conclusions. No, wisdom is something far greater, for it comes from God alone. So, what is it? As it was explained to me once, wisdom is seeing things from God’s perspective. This perspective helps us to step forward from childlike understanding of God’s ways into true spiritual maturity.
Listen to what the author says about wisdom in Proverbs 3:21 – 24, “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgement and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” It seems like the author is saying that it’s easy to lose God’s perspective on things during daily living. If we are honest it’s because our perspective usually drifts towards our ourselves and what’s best for us. Gaining wisdom is a fight, and once it’s achieved it must be preserved at all cost! Many times the costs are great, but so is the reward. The author says that the peace of mind that comes from God’s wisdom is like a fine ornament that gives beauty, protection, and lastly deep rest. These are three goods that individuals spend fortunes on gaining in this world, and yet God gives them freely to all who will become wise by sitting in his presence, hearing his words, and applying them to their lives by faithful living. This changes our perspective to his and makes us wise. In 2021, dare to see as God sees, do as God asks, and watch as your spiritual maturity deepens.