Wisdom is a curious thing, because it’s often so subjective. What can be wise for one person, can seem be the opposite for someone else. I can think of many examples of this in my own life and those in the lives around me.
For example, for many, it is wise to save up, store away savings to prepare for retirement. For others, God has asked them to live by faith and to not have any income so are unable to save.
Which is wise?
Another example, some wisdom would say a musician and author should spend a proportion of their time working on gaining speaking and performing engagements, they should gain a following, they should raise funds they should put themselves out there and promote. Other wisdom says that they shouldn’t ask, God will open doors, and the path of surrender and an audience of One is all that is required.
Which is wise?
I am in no way going to attempt to say which is wise, and which is not, because there is wisdom in all the things listed above! This isn’t an opportunity to bash one way of living over another or one persons choices over another!
In my short life I have learned many lessons on wisdom, with a thousand different outcomes, some predictable some completely unexpected. However, the common theme through them all is that the wise thing that God has eventually led me to do, is usually in conflict with the wisdom of the world. In fact, there have been many times that the the ‘wise’ thing to do has been deemed as utter foolishness by many around me, even believers. I’ve also learned that God likes to sometimes ask us to do things which may seem ridiculous, because he wants us to follow him and test our hearts. This isn’t because he’s cruel and likes to play games with us, it’s because he’s got the full picture and knows what we need to be prepared for.
Sometimes he wants us to flip our perspective on its head. The world tells us that we should aim for the easiest, most straight forward and successful life. We should make money, live hard and rest easy in our old age. But my God leads his chosen people into the desert place. He asks them to walk a narrow road, where there’s no space for crowds. He asks them to give up everything and follow him forsaking all. He asks them to not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself. Which is the wise road?
Actually, we can walk a life of wealth and success while still carrying a heart that god loves and trusts. We can live a life of influence and what the world would describe as successful, while still operating out of a heart of compassion, generosity and sacrifice. You see, wisdom is a heart position, not a set of circumstances.
I lean a lot on 1 Cor: 27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
One painful lesson I learned was the wisdom of surrender. As an Author, musician and speaker, wisdom tells me, as above, to promote, to put myself out there, fish for invites, raise money, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask… But God has told me not to. He has made it very very clear to me that I am to do all that I do for an audience of One, and that needs to be enough. If it’s not, then I am not ready for any other audience. This has been a painful lesson to learn, because ‘wisdom’ says that music and books are there to be heard and read! It was a lesson of surrender, laying it down, and letting it go and being content with everything I’ve done being unto him, and finding peace in the potential that it may only ever be for him.
This flies in the face of so many of my incredible colleagues who are going in a different path, and it may be that they have the same heart but God has given them a different strategy! My story is unique and is crafted by God to make sure I am ready to carry out my unique calling. There is no right or wrong answer here. That’s the incredible thing about wisdom. Wisdom isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about obeying the convictions in your heart that God has put there according to your life and calling. It is the ability to make the best decisions which honour God, honour those around you, no matter the cost.
This is not to say that we have an excuse for reckless or unbiblical behaviour. We should be able to back up our decisions by scripture and Godly lifestyle, but there is such beautiful breadth in the Kingdom of God! Within his body he has unique strategies and paths for each individual. We as a body need to learn to judge less, and support more as we step out into our callings. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t call out sin (when we’ve been invited to or given the position to do so!). This scripture in Corinthians is not an excuse for sin. It’s a Kingdom principle. The wisdom of the Kingdom of heaven is always in opposition to the wisdom of the world.
Choosing a path of foolishness and weakness was one that Jesus did. Very few things he did made sense in the eyes of those around him, and yet he was walking in the perfect will of his father. Jesus is by definition, wisdom itself. That’s not to say we should copy all his choices, we are not called to live the same life he lived. However, the principles behind the choices he made should be echoed in our decision making, no matter what they look like.
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.