I had to scroll back through my previous posts one after the other, double-checking to make sure I hadn’t already talked about the beauty of wisdom. How could I have missed this pearl of inner beauty? When I have spent time in the presence of a wise woman, I feel so refreshed and energized. Let’s talk about the beauty of wisdom and how we can cultivate it…slowly…over time, like a pearl of great worth.
I spent some time with a new friend Thursday. We walked a couple of miles to a charming little coffee shop, lingered over scones and coffee and then walked slowly back to her home. It was good for me to get out of the house for a while. I can be such a homebody. Plus, it was a gorgeous and rare sunny day. And I definitely needed some girlfriend time. I haven’t had much of that since moving across the country.
But the reason I left that visit feeling rejuvenated and blessed was because I spent some time in the presence of a very wise woman.
Have you experienced the refreshing aroma left by a woman of wisdom? The things she has said stay with you like a lingering scent and you continue to ponder them for hours or days after the conversation. In fact, you just feel a little more lovely for having been in her presence! Yes, a wise woman is a truly beautiful woman.
What is wisdom?
A wise woman is one who has learned the discipline of intentionally looking at her circumstances and other people’s situations from God’s perspective. She has learned the value of responding to each and every thing that comes her way – every issue, every question, every fork in the road, every opportunity, every trouble – by acknowledging God and obeying His guidance. She resists the temptation to lean into her own understanding of the issue and doggedly stands on the truth of God’s Word instead, even when it feels and looks contradictory or foolish.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.”Proverbs 3:5-8
I’ve discovered that this woman rarely gives her own opinion. Why? Because she knows that God’s opinion of the matter is supreme, and that’s all that matters to her. She’s learned not to trust conventional wisdom, but to default to biblical wisdom every time.
So this woman is one who listens carefully and long. She thinks before she speaks. And then thinks some more. In fact, she often prays before she speaks. She follows the advice of James:
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”James 1:19
But when she does speak, you can count on this woman to advise you wisely. And what does her advise look like? Plain and simple, Scripture. She’ll always and only encourage you to follow the precepts of God’s Word. She’ll tell you to:
- wait upon the Lord, not to be hasty
- listen to your loved one
- choose love over revenge
- forgive and give grace
- be patient and hope in God
- rest in God’s provision and not to fret
- respect your spouse
- give your grown children space and time and grace
- use your time well
- make time in God’s Word a priority and a habit
- confess your sin and repent from it
No, this woman doesn’t give you feel good advice. And she doesn’t candy-coat things so that you’ll have warm fuzzies and like her. She speaks truth…with grace…and in love. But she always speaks truth.
What words of wisdom have you heard from a wise friend, mentor, sister or mother recently?
How Can We Cultivate Wisdom?
How can you and I cultivate that kind of wisdom? Well, I don’t think there is a program or a book or a methodology that will do the trick. Wisdom cultivates slowly, much like a smooth, opulent pearl develops in an oyster. Not only that, but I believe there is only one true source for wisdom. God alone gives wisdom.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”Proverbs 2:6
I believe the Bible teaches that God longs to give each of His children wisdom. He beckons us to come to Him for this treasure.
But I also believe God holds wisdom in a closed hand. Unlike some of God’s blessings, we have to seek and search for this one. We have to long for it and go after it.
If you read the book of Proverbs, you’ll see over and over that we are to seek wisdom like fine gold, treasure it and ask God for it. You’ll also find that only those with teachable, humble hearts even have the capacity to receive wisdom. In fact, the starting place for acquiring wisdom is a healthy fear of God (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10)
So here are a few suggestions for the woman who longs to cultivate wisdom:
- Spend time daily praising God. As we worship God we elevate Him to His rightful position and we humble ourselves before Him. We acknowledge that we are in need and He is the provider of every good and perfect gift (James 1:19).
- Daily read and develop a love for God’s Word. Wise women know what God’s Word says about the issues of life. More importantly, they value what the Bible says over their own feelings, conventional wisdom, other people’s opinions or the appearance of things.
- Learn the discipline of listening. Gee, this is so hard. But I’ve noticed that wise women listen much more than they speak. And they resist the temptation to formulate replies while the other person is speaking. Instead, they really pay attention to what is being said.
- Admit when you don’t know something. We’ve bought into the assumption that wise people know everything. And in our efforts to be wise, many of us tend to “fake it ’til we make it.” Ha! In fact, wise people know how little they know. And they are students, constantly learning, because they want to understand that which they don’t yet grasp.
- Spend time with truly wise people. A few years ago I asked an older woman to mentor me. For about a year we met monthly to discuss the matters of my life: marriage, parenting adult children, ministering to women, writing, speaking, growing in Christ. I learned so much from this wise woman. But I had to ask her to teach me. Don’t be afraid to prayerfully seek out a mentor.
- Humbly obey God’s commands. I have to tell you, I have encountered people who others acclaim to be wise and who seem to think they are wise in their own eyes, but who really do not obey God’s Word. This, dear ladies, is not wisdom. It’s hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement. Beware of exalting those with a false wisdom. Instead, lead a humble life of daily obeying God’s Word the best you know how. Then you will be the wise one. True wisdom always obeys the Creator.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.