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A Wisdom Retreat - August 5

Let the Wisdom Search Begin!

Proverbs 3:13-14
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.

Contrary to popular belief, wisdom is not an easy thing to attain. Like diamonds, you won't find it lying on top of the ground. It is something that many would like to have, but few ever mine the depths in order to discover where it lies.

I read a story of a young man who approached the great thinker, Aristotle, and asked him the profound question, "How can I have wisdom?" Aristotle smiled and replied, "Follow me."

The young man followed closely as they made their way down several streets, arriving at a shallow pool in the city square. Without any hesitation, Aristotle gathered up his robes and waded into the water. The young man stopped for a moment, but then followed him into the pool.

When both men were standing in the middle, Aristotle suddenly turned, grabbed the younger man by the neck, and pushed his head under the water. The student flailed with his arms, but to no avail. Aristotle was the stronger of the two, and he held the struggling lad's head beneath the surface. At the last possible moment, Aristotle pulled him up, dragged him over to the edge, and sat him down. Coughing and gasping for air, the student could hardly believe what had just occurred.

Unmoved by the young man's confusion and surprise, Aristotle simply asked him, "Young man, when I held you under the water, what did you want more than anything in the world?" He sputtered between coughs, "Air, sir . . . air!" Aristotle then responded, "When you want wisdom as badly as you wanted air, then you will find it," and he walked away.

The test for wisdom is: do you believe you can live without it? If it isn't as vital as food, shelter, or clothing—all of which can be purchased—it won't be found. Although you may desire it, you'll never find it. After a few scrapes with a shovel or pick, in search of this rare jewel, you'll never get much farther than scratching the surface before completely giving up.

The Bible is all about wisdom. Read Psalms, Proverbs, Ephesians, or Colossians, and you will find this word used repeatedly. Proverbs 2:7 tells us that wisdom is obeying God's commands and seeking to know His will; therefore, even believers can run low on wisdom! But when we first desire wisdom "as silver and hidden treasure" (Proverbs 2:4), and then ask God for it "who gives to all generously and without reproach" (James 1:5), as well as cherish what we find (Proverbs 3:5-6), we will become that rare person who not only pursues wisdom . . . but finds it.

Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to give you a longing for wisdom—that ability to discern between right and wrong—the quality of thinking that puts truth into action.

Extra Refreshment: Proverbs 8.

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