Wisdom opens the door to fearless living
What’s the key to fearless living? A mentor urged me over 20 years ago to ask God every day for wisdom, discernment, and insight. She told me that wisdom is worth searching for, that discernment is worth cultivating, and insight is worth its weight in gold.
I love asking questions. I heard once that the ability to ask a good question is the way to wisdom. This quote by Benjamin Disraeli reinforces that thought, “The fool wonders, the wise man asks.” After her instruction to me to ask God for wisdom, I set about looking for wisdom. I’ve prayed about it, researched this topic and sought to apply my learnings.
In the Bible we read that “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.” (see James 1:5 NIV).
Wisdom is something that God gives us.
It can be defined as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. Wisdom is knowing what, when and how to do or say something. Possessing wisdom is vital to thrive in life. Growing in wisdom is also a journey; it is also an invitation from the Lord.
A VUCA world can produce fear in our lives
VUCA is an acronym used by the American Military when they coined this term in response to the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s. VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.
Volatile means that this world is unpredictable. Explosive news headlines, social media reports, and societal challenges feed this volatility.
Uncertainty is a mark of the times. Economies, family, healthy, and online threats produce doubt in our hearts and minds about the future. Uncertainty can breed into fear of the future and something we need to guard against, as we grow older.
What about Complex? According to vuca-world.org, “Problems and their repercussions are more multi-layered, harder to understand.” A complex world makes it difficult to see how things are related. Our decisions are mixed up with reaction and counter-reactions. Wisdom is needed now more than ever to help us choose the right path and not walk on fear’s highway.
Then we get to Ambiguous where even truth seems ambiguous. In today’s world, it’s rare for things to be clear.
Without wisdom, we give fear an opening
All these put together lead us into the gateway to fear. Fear of the future, fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of violence, fear of making a mistake, and fear of living. Remember, fear’s agenda is to shackle one from embracing life to the full. Chained to fear, we end of isolating ourselves and holding back from exploring the abundant life that the Lord would have us live.
And I don’t mean a comfortable life. Suffering and hardship come with being mortal. We are not exempt from the challenges we face, but we have three powerful gifts that we can receive and embrace as we live out in a VUCA world.
Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use. Thomas J. Watson
In a world where anything goes, where truth seems to be relative or even missing, wisdom leads you to know the difference. Wisdom cannot be bought, but we can seek it. Even young children can be wise. I saw how a three year-old can exhibit age-appropriate wisdom and a teenager the same. Pray for your cghildren to be wise. Call it out of them and equip them to ask good questions because that sets them on the path toward wisdom.
Let’s look a few of the rewards of wisdom from Proverbs 2:
- Wisdom comes from within and leads to outward success (vs 1)
- It comes through training your heart to listen and practice discernment (vs 2)
- Cry out for comprehension and insight (these are the tools that wisdom uses) vs 3
- Search for wisdom in hidden places (keep your eyes open. The fear of the Lord leads to wisdom)
- The Lord has a hidden storehouse of wisdom accessible to you.
- Wisdom helps you discover what is just, proper and fair
- It empowers you to make the right decisions as you walk into your destiny (vs 9)
- Wisdom leads to true pleasures
- Understanding the days and times protect you from making poor choices
- It will rescue from evil in disguise
- Wisdom leads to sweet sleep and freedom from fear
I particularly like the last one – sweet sleep and freedom of fear! Oh yes please.
The second of the three powerful words is Discernment, and the third is Insight. I will explore these two in separate blog posts to follow.
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I’ve also written a free five-day devotional to encourage you to live a Fearless life. Why don’t you give it a go?
Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it. Albert Einstein