With the advancement of science and technology there is now an endless amount of information about how to prolong your life in one way or another. Have a surgery to remove that tumor, go on this medication to help your heart, use this device to lower your blood pressure, try this program to help relieve stress, talk to this therapist to reduce your anxiety, and the list goes on and on. One of the facts of this life is that our bodies are going to fail us. Our mortal bodies are not made to last forever and as we age we start to realize that. Even at the ripe old age of 29 I am beginning to feel my body change and not recover from injuries as fast as it used to! (I know I’m going to catch some flack for that one!)
So how do we wade through all of this information and figure out what is best for our bodies so that we can live the best and least-painful life? Now this answer may surprise you a bit. It’s not some magic drug that you take, or a 10 step program to sign up for, or even something that you can start eating that will help you…
It is wisdom!
Plain, old, simple, wisdom.
Ok, that makes it sound bad. Wisdom is not plain or simple; it is very beneficial and can be something that can prolong your life or even save it.
Solomon, who is considered to be one of the wisest men who ever lived, writes about wisdom in Proverbs. “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words, Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are LIFE to those who find them and HEALTH to a man’s whole body” (Prov. 4:20-22). It couldn’t be much more plain than that. But just in case you need more convincing I’ll give you another section that I think is just beautiful.
In chapter 8 Solomon writes all about wisdom. “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?.. ‘To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind…Listen for I have worthy things to say'” (Prov. 8:1-6). As His created beings, God wants all of us to have the best possible life there is and he provides wisdom and understanding so that we can use it to navigate this life. There are SO many decisions that we have to make every day, life can get messy, and muddy, and just darn confusing at times, so that is why God has provided us with wisdom to help us make the right decisions.
Solomon continues, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare to her” (Prov. 8:10-11). A lot of people use money as a safety net (myself included in this!). We think that if we have enough money in the bank account we can buy this or that, and it will make our life easier. Or we think, well if something goes wrong, I’ll have the money to pay for the medical bills. But, I’ll tell you what, money can’t make the right decisions for you. Money can’t tell you whether or not to continue to be in a relationship with someone. Money can’t tell you how to confront a loved one who has a drinking problem. Money can’t tell you if you should pick up this hitchhiker and give him a ride into town, but WISDOM CAN. That’s why it says that wisdom and understanding are more precious than gold or rubies.
Now stay with me here, this is the most important part. This is the part you’ll want to remember. “Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD” (Prov 8:33-35). Again, when we find wisdom, we find life! Using wisdom can be something as simple as not driving somewhere in a blizzard, or who to hire for a plumber. Or it can be something bigger like which town should be build our house in? Or should I start my own business? These are all questions or situations that may come into our lives and the decisions that we make can seriously impact us.
If my husband and I had decided to move and start our own restaurant, in a town that already has a plethora of places to eat, that may not have been a WISE decision. We may have gone into debt, gotten stressed out and run down from trying to make ends meet (which both effect your physical health), and then began to fight and blame each other because this restaurant decision didn’t work out. We need guidance in the decisions that we make. There are always decisions that are more WISE than others.
SO now that I have talked a bunch about using wisdom, you’re probably wondering how do I get wisdom? How do I know if I’m making a wise decision or not? And those are great questions and there are a few different things you can do.
- Talk to others – I don’t mean just walk up to people you don’t know and ask them their opinion! Find people in your life that you trust and have similar beliefs as you and talk through situations and decisions you are facing. Sometimes it is easier for others to see the “bigger picture” than it is for us. We can get too emotional or involved in something that we can’t see the wise choice. So have people who support you and are looking out for your best interest to help you wade through life.
- Read God’s word – Even if you don’t believe in God there is SO much wisdom in the Bible! Or if you’re not into that, just read Proverbs. There is just a lot of sensible knowledge in Proverbs, like not starting fights, or not spreading gossip, or searching out guidance from others. I wrote a little bit about this in my last post, but God isn’t out to make our lives boring and mundane by telling us things to do and not to do. Just take a look at some of the “big ones” – the Ten Commandments – don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t give false testimony, honor your mother and father, I think these are all pretty solid statements to live by!
And most importantly…
3. Talk to God – God is our Father and we are his children. He only wants to the best for us. He wants us to succeed and see us prosper and be blessed in life. Sometimes there are situations that we just can’t make the decision on our own. We can ask others or search the Bible, but sometimes we just need to hear from God. He has more knowledge and wisdom than we can even imagine and He has our best interest in mind. Sometimes the best decision for our life isn’t always what the world thinks is best. If you are going to ask God for advice, then you can’t be afraid to listen to it! Even if other people think you are crazy, I guarantee God is not going to lead you astray!
These are all things that will increase our wisdom and help us to make better decisions in our lives. Life is too messy to try to do it on our own. We need others and frankly, we need God to help us navigate through murky waters.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make in your life or you are getting bombarded with all sorts of information about how to live longer, don’t let it drag you down! Just listen to the wisdom of Solomon and “Leave your simple ways and you will live – walk in the way of understanding!” (Prov. 9:6).