WISE DECISIONS AND GOD’s WISDOM
What contributes to wise decision making? Psychology has found that wisdom becomes essential when times are challenging, issues complex, and the path forward unclear 1, i.e., Covid-19 pandemic, record unemployment, and racial unrest. God’s Word also has a lot to say about decision making and wisdom. Let me dispel some misunderstandings regarding wisdom
Misunderstanding One: Knowledge and Wisdom are not the same thing.
There are 4 kinds of knowledge named in Scripture and three kinds of wisdom. I won’t go into detail in this article, but Scriptures tell us Wisdom is a gift from God. Here is one example - “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So, the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.”
Deuteronomy 34:9 NIV
“Research indicates that there is only a slight correlation between intelligence and wisdom, and that correlation disappears the more ambiguous a situation becomes. Intelligence really only matters when logical analysis can inform a solution.” (Leaderwise Institute-September Newsletter)
Misunderstanding Two: The more education, wealth, and privilege you have, does not mean you are wiser. The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.” Psalms 37:30 NIV “
Spiritual leaders share wisdom more readily than wealthy leaders. “For most decisions, there is no relationship between Socioeconomic Status (SES) and wise decision making. There is one exception: People who have less education and economic privilege actually exhibit greater wisdom when it comes to interacting with others (interpersonal wisdom) than individuals who are privileged. As a colleague observed, this likely reflects a survival skill, as people with less means have had to figure out how to build a strong social support network to help themselves and others just to get by; they’ve had to “do their work.” (Leaderwise Institute-September Newsletter)
Misunderstanding Three - People are either wise or they’re not. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Luke 2:52 NIV
Some call this the Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa effect. Yet we see from Scripture even Jesus himself was not born with perfect wisdom. He “We look to examples of wisdom and believe that somehow they have it all figured out. The research suggests, though, that wisdom is highly variable even within the same individual. For instance, you can offer wise counsel to others and make poor decisions in your personal life—or vice versa.” (Leaderwise Institute-September Newsletter.)
What’s the good news? No one person has the corner on wisdom and we all can learn how to make wise decisions. By learning from God’s Word, we can apply biblical principles to help our decision pathway.
This fall we are offering a special 8 week class on racial reconciliation. We have one large group gathering at the beginning and one at the end otherwise it is held in small groups of 6-8 members. The classes will be held via Zoom and the University of Minnesota is overseeing this pilot project by allowing us to use their registration system and technology. We are doing this class intentionally with two other churches so there will be a mix of racial backgrounds and theological discourse. The two other church pastors are longtime friends of mine. Rev John Gordon of Spirit of Truth Church in Burnsville and Rev. Bill Goodwin of Lighthouse Church in Rosemount. Pastor Deb Marzahn, Jim Mathis and I will be group facilitators. Please sign up by clicking the button below. The first class will be on Thursday, September 10th but after that, small groups determine when they would like to meet. I look forward to this class adding to the wisdom of CROSSROADS as we work together to address recent concerns on our nation and our community.