Perhaps you are like me and frequently understand your desperate need for wisdom. Whether it’s for raising a child, helping your husband, serving the Lord, or working through a hurting relationship—often our need for wisdom on the matters we face is overwhelming! However, anyone who desires wisdom and is willing to make the choices required to gain it, can find it. Consider these six choices of a wise woman, found in God’s Word:
Fear the Lord
The primary source of wisdom is the Lord Himself.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.—”Proverbs 9:10
To fear the Lord means to acknowledge His presence in your life and to live with an awareness that He is watching, guiding, and directing. As you seek to live in a continual awareness of God’s presence, as you respect and reverence Him as your Lord, the Bible promises that you will gain wisdom. In fact, this principle is so foundational to receiving godly wisdom that the Bible says fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Ask for Wisdom
Another way to receive God’s wisdom is to simply ask for it! God promises to liberally, or freely, give wisdom to those who request it.
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
I love how this verse emphasizes God’s graciousness. When we find ourselves asking God for wisdom, it’s often because we realize that we’ve made a mess without it. And yet, for whatever reason, we come to God asking for wisdom, He will not upbraid (scold or reprimand) us for our lack. He won’t make us feel badly for asking. He wants to give us His wisdom.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.—Proverbs 2:6
Search for Wisdom
Have you ever lost something important to you and searched desperately for it? Perhaps it was your keys or your phone or your pet. What actions do you take when you search for something of value? Do you passionately go after it? Do you lift up your voice and cry out for it?
What if someone gave you a modernday treasure map in which X marked the spot of hidden treasures? Would you passionately pursue it?
That is how we must search for wisdom:
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.—Proverbs 2:2–5
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”—Proverbs 4:7
As we practice God’s presence in our lives and ask Him for wisdom on a daily basis, we shouldn’t neglect seeking His Word for the wisdom contained therein. We should study, meditate, and dwell on the wisdom that is from above.
Stay Away from Fools
No matter how diligently we seek wisdom, if we spend significant amounts of time with foolish people, whatever wisdom we glean will be quickly neutralized by their influence.
Carefully consider the relationships in your life. Are you allowing influences that don’t edify or encourage godly wisdom, but rather lead you into paths of foolishness and frustration? Scripture warns us to avoid these influences.
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.—Proverbs 4:14–15
While we should demonstrate a heart of biblical love to all people, determine to not allow foolish influences to have entry into your life. Avoid foolish discussions, speculation, gossip, and counsel. Turn from it and pass away.
Furthermore, seek out relationships with people whose lives demonstrate the continual application of godly wisdom. By spending time with them, their wisdom actually will rub off on you!
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”—Proverbs 13:20
Tune Your Ears to Wisdom
Have you ever been talking to someone and known that while she was hearing you, she was not listening? Sometimes we do this with God’s wisdom. We let His Word, the preaching and teaching of it, and the counsel of others go in one ear and out the other.
Conversely, have you ever been talking to someone in a crowded or noisy area and been gratified to see her lean in closer to hear you? This is how we must listen to wisdom. God’s wisdom is easily accessible, but we’ll never gain it without inclining our ear, or straining to listen to His still, small voice.
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding.”—Proverbs 2:2
If you tune your heart to God’s voice, His wisdom can be heard above the chaos and confusion. Lean in. Get a little closer to Him. Incline your ear. As you ask for wisdom and then listen, He speaks wisdom to your heart.
Develop Wisdom through Practice
After we pray for wisdom, seek wisdom, and tune our ears to hear God’s wisdom, the point comes when we must act in God’s wisdom.
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.”—Proverbs 4:5
Sometimes we know what we should do, but we decline to do it. Perhaps God is leading us to do something hard or awkward or uncomfortable. But, God’s wisdom is not like a Pandora app or an iPod playlist in which you listen to your favorites and disregard everything else. God’s wisdom may require that you take actions you’d rather not take. But do it anyway. Act in wisdom anyway. Allow God to bless you and increase your faith as you grow in your practice of godly wisdom.
These choices to gain wisdom are not always easy, and they don’t come without competition. Although it sounds so simple to say, “Just ask God for wisdom,” the truth is, in the moment when we most need wisdom, we usually have several other voices, including our own heart, pulling at us to act in fleshly wisdom. And as committed as we may be to reading a Proverb each day, we’ll find 101 urgent needs calling for our attention at the very moment we planned to seek the wisdom found in God’s Word.
Although God often gives us generous pieces of wisdom in our moments of desperation, the actions that make us truly wise women require earnest, tenacious, and repeated choices. If you’re like me, you won’t make the right choice every time. But God graciously helps us up when we fall and encourages us to go on in wisdom.
Over time, as we continue in the fear of the Lord, in asking Him for wisdom, in seeking it from the pages of His Word, in avoiding close relationships with those who lead us away from it, in tuning our ears to hear it, and in practicing its applications in our lives…as we make these choices again and again, God will increase His wisdom in our lives.