Sometimes we have to get above the clouds and away from the noise to gain a little perspective.
I’ve been pretty quiet around social media lately – it wasn’t a planned, purposeful intermission. After online school ended in mid-May, I needed time for a long exhaaaaale.
As summer break began, the world continued to clang with coronavirus numbers, phased re-openings, and uncertainties surrounding summer plans and school in the fall. Then a crash of national unrest came storming into 2020 – injustices and tensions and heartbreaks that I admittedly knew very little about. And it’s an election year to boot. Plus, the murder hornets and a Saharan dust cloud. Ooof.
All of these add up to a cacophony of noise seeking to steal our focus, interrupt our peace, and unnerve even the most steady among us. Often, wisdom and kindness fly out the window as we try to hold on and just survive.
Some conversations are needed. Many are long overdue, while others are ever-changing as we embark into the unknown (cue music from Frozen 2 — “Into the unknown. Into the Unknow-own”). Over the past month, I mostly sat back and read – a lot. And listened. And prayed. And engaged in a lot of one-on-one conversations. And I tried to see if there are areas in which I’m blinded or hardened or in sin.
It was about a month ago that I read these words in Proverbs 1:2-7 (ESV):
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Words of insight.
Instruction – in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, equity.
And here was the kicker in verse five: Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.
Wisdom comes from outside of myself, therefore I need to have ears to hear and a mind open to more learning. And in order to grow in understanding, I need to obtain guidance – in other words, I need a teachable heart to truly listen and learn from others. All of this wisdom and knowledge begins with fearing the Lord (verse 7) – a reverential awe and humble submission that God knows infinitely more than I do and has my best in mind.
God’s Word needs to be the foundation of our wisdom and knowledge. But opening our ears and hearts to others who don’t always agree with us increases our understanding and gives us opportunities for wise dealings and exercising those discretion muscles.
And what is the result of ears attuned to sound teaching and a spirit open to guidance?
Proverbs 1:33 closes by telling us “whoever listens to me [wisdom] will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
The current events of 2020 can certainly conjure up feelings of dread and disaster. Our panic-stricken imaginations can run on overdrive. But as we fear the Lord and seek His wisdom, we can dwell securely and deal with others in a manner worthy of His name. I like His way so much better, don’t you?
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 (ESV)
#mondaygoodness #dwellsecure #wisdom #understanding #letthewisehear #ohhisgoodness
Each Monday, I plan to offer you a “Monday Goodness” devotional. I pray it will encourage you to focus on God’s goodness, His Word, and truths to help you cling to Him in life’s impossible.