Message: “HEART & HEAD” – Pastor Austin Parkhurst
Sunday, March 24th, 2019
We all know people who want everyone to know they’re the smartest guy in the room, but you rarely see someone wise trying to be the center of attention. Smart people tend to process information logically whereas someone with wisdom understands you need to consider intangibles like emotions, an individual’s spirituality, and their life experience. It’s the kind of brain power that helps you make sound decisions, like being smart enough to know that every variety of pepper from bell peppers to jalapeños are fruits, but common sense to realize they don’t necessarily belong in a pie.
You can be born smart, but wisdom takes time and experience.
Chesley B. Sullenberger III learned to fly at16, while still in high school, then later at the United States Air Force Academy. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in psychology, he also has two master's degrees and an honorary Doctorate of Letters. Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the US Air Force, becoming a flight leader and a training officer. When he retired from the Air Force, he became a commercial airline pilot. All that education served Sullenberger well over the years, but it was his hands-on experience that enabled him to safely land United Airlines Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River following a bird strike-induced loss of both engines back in January of 2009. Without “Sully’s” 20,000-plus hours of experience as a pilot, it’s unlikely that all 155 passengers and crew on board would have survived as they did. There’s a reason the event has been dubbed “The Miracle on the Hudson.”
But there is another way to gain wisdom. James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
The Bible talks a lot about wisdom. In fact, depending on which version you’re reading, the word occurs hundreds of times, while the word “smart” is never used at all. There are a few references to intelligence, but smart? Nope. Not even once.
In the book of Kings, Solomon asks God for wisdom so he could be a good king. Note, he didn’t ask to be smarter – but wiser. Solomon understood that as the king, he’d need not only to be smart and know the law, but he’d need wisdom to be just.
Ideally, we’d all like to have both – book smarts and wisdom. But that’s only possible if you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone and get your hands a little dirty. Ask God to challenge you – dive into the word and then apply what you’ve learned to real-life situations. Use your life experience to speak wisdom and truth from God into the life of someone else on their journey.
As the Persian poet, Rumi once said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Knowledge is information. Wisdom is understanding.
Wisdom is taking what you know and putting it to work.
“Wise people not only have knowledge of human nature and of the created world, but they know how to use that knowledge in the right way at the right time.” - Warren Wiersbe
Who is someone in your life that you consider to be wise? In what ways have you seen Biblical wisdom exemplified in them?
How does the world define wisdom? How does that differ from the Bible’s definition?