This is the second in our series of blogs from Graham Hooper, author of??Undivided ? closing the faith-life gap?. You can check out our previous interview with Graham here.
?Wisdom is more precious?than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her? (8:11)
In most workplaces, we value, skill, experience, leadership, reliability and commitment. Depending on the task we may also value creativity, communication, technical accuracy and management ability. Wisom seldom rates a mention. Think back to any job interviews you have attended…was the question ?is this person wise?? on the agenda at any point?? Probably not. And yet the Scripture tells us that wisdom is more valuable than precious jewels and absolutely essential for us in order to steer our way through all the challenges, difficulties and temptations of life.
Wisdom is not valued highly in our society generally. ?It is not on most people?s wish-list. We focus on physical health, security, adventure, sport, and on the importance of education and material success. But we hear very little about the value of wisdom and the importance of growing in wisdom. We give great respect to the rich, the attractive, the celebrities, the clever and the athletic, but not to the wise.
According to Proverbs, ?wisdom? includes understanding, discipline, prudence, knowledge and discretion (1:2-3). It may sound to us as just ?common sense? but wisdom is very un-common: ?She [wisdom] is more precious than rubies? (Proverbs 3:15). Men and women can succeed in life, rise to the top of their profession, and still not have true wisdom, because ?The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? (9:10). Without knowing God, you cannot discover the meaning or purpose of your life, and therefore you cannot be truly wise. Wisdom is not to be confused with our educational qualifications, our IQ level, with being ?street-smart? or ?business-savvy?. It starts with recognizing that there is a God who made you, and to whom you are accountable.
Wise people transform the workplace by the way they speak and act, by the way they handle conflict, by their honesty, hard work, faithfulness and reliability and by their thoughtful insight and generosity of spirit. Such people also have the less tangible but deeper impact that comes from a whole life being lived out in faith and accountability and an attitude which sees daily work as an essential part of worship of God.
It was said of Jesus that, as a child, he ?grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom? (Luke 2:40).
We are called to follow his example.