Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown. Proverbs 4:6-9
One of my greatest regrets in life is not taking school seriously. For the most part, I mailed it in by going through the motions and resting on my laurels. My parents told me I was too smart for my own good and I think they were right. Friends who pulled all-nighters cramming for a test would often be livid at me for barely cracking open a textbook and getting a better score than them on an exam. Those good grades only reinforced my lack of effort and living my life doing the bare minimum.
I bring this up not to brag, but rather as a lament mourning all those opportunities I squandered. More often than not, as soon as the last question on the test was answered or the term paper was handed in, my brain would do an Alt-Right-Delete and reboot with that information gone forever. My approach to learning was all wrong. I only cared about the grade, looking good to others and feeding my ego.
Over the years I’ve noticed how, if I’m not careful, this mindset can creep into my walk with Christ and my pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. My quest for His truth isn’t always about understanding His heart and furthering our relationship, but rather mere head knowledge that makes me look “super spiritual” to my friends and family.
Just like my schooling, I can fool people very easily and hide my motives like a magician’s sleight of hand trick. The outside appearance of knowledge can very easily come across as spiritual maturity, wise understanding, and uncompromising integrity. Looks can be deceiving.
Because of this, I have to make it a point to pause, reflect and ask God to expose my motives for pursuing His truth. God wants me to be honest with Him about the one thing I can hide from everybody else – my motives. Sometimes I don’t enjoy what He exposes, but this process is needed.
Left to my own devices I can use truth for my own gain. I’m confident that I can’t be the only one on the planet who struggles in this way. If I wrestle with my pursuit of truth and having pure motives, chances are good so do you.
Take a moment and reflect on what drives your own pursuit of wisdom. Are you pursuing truth to further your agenda? Are you searching Scriptures to know God’s heart or to build your argument and prove your point against someone else? Are you more concerned with understanding God’s character or appearing wise in the eyes of others? Would you describe your search for wisdom as going through the motions and out of obligation? Has all the knowledge and insight you’ve gained made the short trip from your head to your heart? What do you “know” but aren’t acting upon or living out?
Those questions aren’t meant to discourage you or leave you feeling condemned. Remember, we’re in the same boat and guilt never leads to transformation. Instead, let this time of reflection serve as a jumping off point and an opportunity for transparency and honesty.
- How would you describe what motivates you to pursue wisdom and God’s truth? Why is this the driver?
God, may I pursue Your truth with right motives and a pure heart. Instead of gaining wisdom to boast and bring attention to myself, may I seek Your truth in order to better reflect Your heart. I desire to gain wisdom so that I can point others to the hope only You provide. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.