“Impediments to Godly Wisdom”
Have you noticed all the images of Jesus that people have created throughout the centuries? Growing up, my mother displayed funeral prayer cards from family who had passed away, and I would look at them in contemplation. The cards had images of Jesus on the front and prayers to Jesus on behalf of the deceased on the back. Some had pictures of the Sacred Heart with its thorns. One was a picture of Jesus with a pinkish, 3D-ish flame above his head that I, in my childhood, took to be pink frosting. I spent a lot of time pondering this image and wondering why Jesus had pink frosting over his head. I asked my mother about it. She clearly didn’t know either, because she tried to convince me that it was a flame!
So what effect did these images have on my knowledge of God? Mostly, they distracted me from knowing Him, even as I thought I was spending time contemplating Him. It prevented me from gaining wisdom. I find in this story examples of three spiritual errors from childhood that are still impediments today:
1. Stubbornness or hubris: My stubborn conviction about the pink frosting is laughable to me now, but I think I still look to God that way. Proverbs 11:2 points out that “when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” James 1:5-6: “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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…”
2. Distraction: By failing to look to God’s word and listen to the Holy Spirit, I can be distracted or sidetracked by trivial things. Gaining understanding will move me past distractions into the greater truth that God has for me. Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Colossians 1:9: “…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…”
3. Failure to receive the wisdom of the surrounding community of believers. This isn’t necessarily a rejection of wisdom, but a lack of opportunity. I tend to be reticent about sharing personal insights. If I don’t share, I will not gain that wisdom or instruction. Colossians 3:16: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Ephesians 1:17-19: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Have you covered your knowledge of Jesus with spiritual “pink frosting”? Let us seek together the true wisdom of God!