WISDOM

1 Kings 3:3-12 — New Revised Standard Version

Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David; only, he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

Wisdom

Wisdom

Wisdom.
I think that Solomon
had wisdom long
before he asked for it.
Think about it for a second.
The genie pops out of the box
and gives you one wish.
What’s it going to be?
I’ll bet that wisdom
is not even on your short list.
Money? Relationship?
New Car, Boat, House?
It’s a Catch-22.
Most of the things
we’d ask for
are
things we need wisdom
to steward.
But, what is wisdom,
exactly?
For Solomon
it was an understanding mind
by which to govern.
Also to discern between good and evil.
When I think of wisdom,
I think of what evolves beyond
mere knowledge
and accumulated information.
For me wisdom is less about
knowing how to rule others
and more about knowing
my own heart,
my own self.

In the Kenny Rodgers song,
“The Gambler,”
you have to
…know when to hold ’em
know when to fold ’em
know when to walk away
and know when to run…

But there’s more —
you also have to know how to
be yourself,
offer love,
receive love,
and know the heart
of God
as your own.
Wisdom:
holding the love of Jesus
in all its manifestations

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 — New Revised Standard Version

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Conversion = Turning Over A New Leaf

Conversion = Turning Over A New Leaf

Conversion
What is it that that we
might/ought
change in our lives?
How would we be different
than say we are now?
We all seem to exist
somewhere
between thinking
we are just as spiffy as all get out
and thinking
we are complete losers.
We might not admit to this,
or we might want
to go to war about it,
or make sure to come
up after the service
to point out how you are not
puffed up
or that you think
you are a loser.
Fine.
OK.
So we don’t really steal.
We don’t really lie.
Or do physical, emotional, or spiritual harm to anyone.
Well, maybe…
But if it is true that we are not like this,
why do we take criticism
so personally?
Why do we hurt
so badly when we are maligned?
My point here,
and I do have a point,
is that
we all need to undergo some
form of conversion.
We all need to change
in some way or another.
To rise up just a little higher
on the spiritual evolutionary scale.
Our work is never complete.
I believe that our journey
is never going to be over.
We can always grow
more into
the image of God
that we were created
to become.
Being angry about anything
over a long period of time
is damaging to our own spirits.
Allowing ourselves
to flair out with a napalm bomb of rage
is damaging
to our own soul
and to anyone around us.
Do you trust yourself
more than you trust God?
Do you allow insecurity
and its attendant anxiety to
destroy your own spirit
by not believing you are ever
good enough?
And we might say
we have not committed murder,
but saying things
that demean another’s character,
even if it is true,
is in and of itself a form of
spiritual assassination.
Where is it in your life
that conversion
needs to take place?
What do you need to
do to
become a better
imitator
of the God of all love?