I’m tired of after-the-fact wisdom, aren’t you? I mean, don’t you hate it when the perfect comeback comes to mind after the opportunity to use it has passed you by? Well, that’s actually probably a good thing. But what about when the logical solution to a problem seems obvious once you’ve already made the wrong decision?
This last one happened to me this last week. I had the opportunity to help someone, and while I didn’t exactly not help, I passed them on to someone else who I thought at the time could help them “better”. I realized moments later that God had wanted ME to help. Great. I went back to find the person to do what I knew I should have done to begin with, but the person was gone. I never did know if he got the help he needed or not. I suffered once again from after-the-fact wisdom.
I often ask God for wisdom that I need for the decisions I have to make. Our lives are full of choices to be made. We need Wisdom on our side. Sometimes. Sometimes our day-to-day decisions just don’t require a lot of high-level brain function.
We are faced with choices all day long every day. I think we make most choices during most days without much thought. We just float through our day choosing left or right, stairs or elevator, paper or plastic, heels or flats.
Yet every now and then we are faced with a decision that gives us pause. We stop, sit, and ponder the ramifications of a particular decision. We weigh the options, look at the choices from every conceivable angle, and mull it all over again.
Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be an easy answer. Having Wisdom to make good choices needs to come on the front end of a situation. After-the-fact wisdom is really useless in a present situation.
Sometimes the decisions we have to make will have far reaching implications on our lives and the lives of those we care about. I am thankful that those kinds of choices don’t come along every day. I just don’t want to have to think that hard on a regular basis.
When those kinds of situations come along, we need to be smart.
We need Godly wisdom.
Unfortunately we don’t usually come by that kind of Wisdom automatically. I mean, that would be helpful, but we have to invest in Wisdom ahead of time. It’s when we don’t that after-the-fact wisdom happens, if it happens at all. However, if we have been seeking Wisdom all along, when a situation requires it, we can call on it to lead us.
But what if I have been cultivating Wisdom? Can things still go wrong? Well, yes.
The problem then comes when I just don’t heed what Wisdom says. Wisdom tells me to have character in my decisions. But sometimes doing the right thing won’t always give me what I think I want. Yet the Bible tells us that living a righteous life will bring protection. (Proverbs 2:7) I definitely want that. It’s when I compromise on what Wisdom tells me that I fall into paths that lead me places I shouldn’t go, and lose the protection that Wisdom can provide. I can talk myself into lots of things I shouldn’t. I bend, excuse, and bargain with myself to justify what I do.
There is a path to follow. Wisdom is there, waving to us. Calling us down that path. It’s the path that leads to God’s protection, and the right outcome.
Take a look at what Proverbs 2 has to say about seeking Godly wisdom in your life:
“…if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2: 1-11.
We are supposed to look for wisdom as if it were a hidden treasure of great value. Like it’s the golden egg in the Easter egg hunts of our childhood. We are to search the scriptures and take it’s knowledge into our hearts. Then, if we walk blameless, not compromising what is right to get what we want, we will receive the protection God promises. And with that will come the understanding we are looking for.
If I am honest, I wanted to eat lunch more than I wanted to help that guy out. I saw a quick easy solution to both of our problems when I passed him off to someone else. But I failed to use Godly wisdom. Did I turn my back on the guy? Not really. Technically, I didn’t. But had I used Godly wisdom I would have known for sure that he was helped, and I would have received that pleasantness in my soul the writer of Proverbs is talking about.