GEAR UP: WISDOM

In 2020, we are going to continue our Sunday night Gear Up posts for 29 more weeks. On July 26 we will have our FINAL Gear Up on Surrender and at that point, we will have 52 weeks of Gear Ups to turn into a book that can be used year after year.

I hope you are getting something out of these weekly gear-ups; feel free to offer your advice or comments on this particular column to make it more meaningful!

This week, we are focusing on WISDOM.

Wisdom, to put simply, comes from Above. We can store mounds and mounds of information in our heads- that’s knowledge. Wisdom is knowing what to do with that information.

Wisdom is knowing when to be bold and speak up, and when to stay silent. Wisdom is facing a trial for the tenth time and realizing change will come only if you respond differently this time. Wisdom is walking away from something you want because you know it’s not good for you.

The Lord has a lot to say about wisdom:

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 | KJV |

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16 | KJV |

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5 | KJV |

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 | KJV |

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!

and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Proverbs 16:16 | KJV |

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Colossians 4:5-6 | KJV |

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul:

he that keepeth understanding shall find good.

Proverbs 19:8 | KJV |

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1 Corinthians 3:18 | KJV |

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 3:13 | KJV |

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.

Matthew 7:24 | KJV |

So teach us to number our days,

that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 | KJV |

When pride cometh, then cometh shame:

but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2 | KJV |

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom;

and before honour is humility.

Proverbs 15:33 | KJV |

Choose one of the verses above that speak to you and memorize it this week. Pray for the Lord to increase your wisdom.

That turning point in life…

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My girls took me to New Orleans last week-end to see the touring Broadway production of Aladdin at the Saenger Theatre. I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed their company, something I appreciated far too little when they still lived at home.

After the show, in between playing games and comparing the movie to the stage show, we discussed current events.

And I became painfully aware of the generation gap.

You’d have thought that I had an advantage. That very evening I’d gone on my first-ever Lyft ride AND we were staying in an Airbnb, another first for me.

So I was feeling all hip and, what’s the word? Woke? Yes, I was woke.

But they were a mixed bag of tricks, those girls.

The oldest is more socially aware than I am, and she won’t hesitate to tell you if she thinks you are wrong.

The youngest is a true millenial and gets her daily news feed from America’s First Family, the Kardashians.

And the middle one, the perennial peacemaker of the family,  will agree to all sides of opposite views to keep everyone happy.

So, we had some lively discussions!

But one conversation left me flustered as I couldn’t defend my point but knew I was right in what I was saying. It took another two days of reflection before I understood the logic.

We were talking about maturity, changing priorities, and mellowing out.

I said that there were a lot of things that used to bother me that don’t anymore. I attributed the biggest change to age. My oldest daughter insisted it was experiences that changed a person, regardless of age. I agreed with that statement because I have had some seismic shifts that changed me greatly at various ages of my life.

But there was still something that came with age- I couldn’t define it- but it caused another great shift in thinking.

The Lord had changed me, no doubt about it, but if I wanted to, I could pick up that old anger, or guilt, or blame and tote it around awhile.

But somewhere in the last couple of years, I didn’t even want to LOOK at those old buckets.

“So, you’re telling me I’m going to have a birthday and magically be changed?” The child definitely inherited her snark from me.

The two younger girls fell into fits of laughter. They probably had a bet on which of us would win this debate, their know-it-all mother or never-wrong sister.

It was a draw as I refused to concede and she ruled my assertion utterly ridiculous but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Why DID it change? And, gasp, could she have been right and it was just coincidence that it happened in my late 40s?

But the answer was in the question.

It WAS an age thing. At 45, you become an expert mathematician. And you are infinitely more aware that you have likely already lived more of your life than you have left. We joke about being OVER THE HILL at 30 but the true meaning of OVER THE HILL is that half your life is over.

You start becoming aware that time stops for no man, dreams not pursued will never come true, and life is too short to waste on things you can’t change.

That includes the past, other people, and even signs with misspelled words.

It scares me a little.

Not death, as I know that my death is only the beginning of an eternal life with Christ and all my loved ones who have chosen Him as their Savior.

But that I’m never going to reach that place, or BE that person God wants me to be. Every time I think I’m close, I realize just how far I still have to go.

And I want to arrive at those pearly gates knowing I did everything I ever wanted to do, everything He wanted me to do, and that I didn’t waste another ounce of energy on things that didn’t matter.