A Word to the Wise

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5 (NLT)

When I was little, I was deathly afraid of asking anyone for anything – especially in a public space. For example, if we went out to eat and the server forgot to bring me ketchup for my fries, I would always make my dad ask them to bring me some. I couldn’t muster up the courage to ask the person in charge of bringing me things to bring me something. Some call this being bashful. Others call it shyness. I call it a drastic fear of being shut down and criticized because I dared to ask a question of someone who is much older, wiser, and bigger than I am so I don’t want to get into it. OK. That’s a bit wordy. Let’s just go with shy. I was so shy that even asking directions to the closest bathroom was a struggle. (Men never grow entirely out of this phase. We still hate to ask for directions.) I’ve since outgrown most of my shyness.

The crazy thing is that many of us struggle shyness when it comes to God. After all, He is a much older, wiser, and bigger being than we are. There is much to fear (or so our minds tell us). We refuse to approach Him with our questions, concerns, or requests for help. We refuse to ask Him to come into our lives and save us from ourselves. We refuse to ask for His guidance and wisdom. It’s this last one that is the focus of our verse today. Wisdom.

Wisdom goes far beyond just intelligence. Wisdom includes the ability to look at a situation and make a good decision on how best to proceed. It is based on past experience, but also the ability to weigh the different options and predict their outcomes. Since God is eternal, His experience far surpasses our own. Since He is omnipresent (He’s everywhere, including the past, present, and future) He can see how every option will turn out for us. Therefore, when He speaks, His wisdom is always correct. (He is perfect, after all) This brings us back to our verse.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God.” I love that James adds “He will not rebuke you for asking.” In other words, God wants us to ask. It gives Him joy to help us out, to guide us through life. He’s generous, too. So, there’s no limit on how many times we can ask Him.

No matter what decisions you may be wrestling with in life, talk to God about them. Ask Him for His guidance. Ask Him for His wisdom. He won’t let you down.

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