St. Oswald

A Lesson for today from Saint Oswald

Growing In Wisdom

Someone once said that, "God offered us wisdom, we settled for knowledge and ended up with information." An interesting statement! I'm sure that we have all heard of the "information super highway." It is possible to find out just about anything on the internet. A recent comedy program said that one of the things you should never say to your doctor is: "I've been looking on the internet and I think I'm suffering from..."

Following on from the mass of information we have at out fingertips, we love to test our knowledge. Hardly a day goes by without several Quiz Programs being broadcast on Television, offering prizes from £1,000,000 down to the honour of being called an "Egg Head" and as such you are really clever.

But, what about wisdom? When did you last encounter a really wise person? What is wisdom anyway?

Wisdom begins with God. Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, because He has the power to make wise the simple or destroy the wisdom of the wise. Also in the Book of Proverbs, there is a section where God's wisdom is given a life of its own. This is an early expression of the way He would fully express His wisdom to us in His Son Jesus.

What we learn from this is that wisdom is knowledge in action. God knew that as human beings we needed a Saviour. This is knowledge but, by providing that Saviour in the form of His own Son who then died for us, God applied His knowledge and turned it into wisdom. Even today God's wisdom baffles the greatest minds.

So how do we become wise? By asking God! The Bible tells us that if anyone lacks wisdom, they should ask God who gives without finding fault. Our God is an incredibly generous God, and He knows that wisdom is so necessary in our world of information and knowledge. Let me illustrate with an old story.

There was once a man who stopped going to Church but, having attended for a while he couldn't help but feel a little guilty, and so he decided to visit one of the older members of the congregation whom he knew to be wise. The old man invited him in and he began to share his dilemma. He was working increasingly long hours and was growing tired. Sunday mornings were his only chance to lie-in, besides which, the Sunday Services weren't the most inspiring. All-in-all, the man made a good argument that would be hard to counter.

The old man listened. Then, without saying a word, he leaned forward and took hold of the tongs at the side of the fire. Silently he removed a single coal which he put onto the hearth, and then he sat back. The two men watched as the coal went from a bright orange to a dull black. Its fire went out. After a suitable time, the old man reached forward again and returned the coal to the fire and in no time at all it was burning again.

The visitor felt his heart sink. He had his answer. All his arguments had been brought to nothing by the wise old man who had never said a word. That man never missed Church again.

Please read:
Proverbs 3:1 to 4:27 How many other references to "wisdom" can you find in Proverbs?
1 Corinthians 1:18 to 3:16
James 1:5

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