Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Our sons both played linemen positions on their high school football team - which means they had to take their share of jokes about being big and dumb. Linemen's numbers are usually like 70-something, and they were number 75 and 76. So the word was that linemen wore their I.Q. on their jerseys. It's probably a good thing most of us were never told what our Intelligence Quotient is and really a good thing it wasn't advertised on our jersey! But after all is said and done, there's a measurement of your capabilities that's far more important anyway.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Eight Questions to Get it Right."
Your W.Q. is so much more important than your I.Q. That's your Wisdom Quotient! Intelligence is about how much information you have. Wisdom is about how much insight you have. In simple words, Biblical wisdom is God-think - the ability to see what He sees in a situation or a person.
And all you need to do is download God's wisdom upon request. His promise in James 1:5 is: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all." It then adds: "When he asks, he must believe and not doubt..." (verse 6). As a parent, a leader, a friend, just as a daily decision-maker, you need so much wisdom, and here's how you get it.
First, be desperate for it. You've got to confess how much you need it. This is a desperate admission that you don't have the resources to figure it out, so you're totally depending on God giving you His insight. Secondly, beg for it. That's actually the sense of "ask" in this verse. Finally, believe for it. Proceed with the confidence that God will keep His promise and you will be directed what to do.
Then in our word for today from the Word of God, He tells us what wisdom looks like. Here's how you can measure how wise you really are by the eight characteristics of wisdom spelled out in James 3:17. I'm going to turn them into questions that we need to be asking about any choice we need to make. Let's call it "eight questions to get it right."
James says, "The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure..." So ask yourself, "What's the pure, uncompromised thing to do?" Then it says heaven's wisdom is "peace-loving." We need to ask ourselves, "What will lead to peace instead of conflict?" Choices that continually result in conflict are probably not God-think. Next, God's wisdom is "considerate." Question 3, "How will this affect other people?" Considering others when you decide. And God's wisdom is "submissive," or "easy to be entreated." This is about being teachable and approachable. So ask, "Have I considered the input of others?"
"Full of mercy and good fruit" - that's what this verse says about real wisdom. Two more questions then: "What is the merciful thing to do?" and "Is this getting results?" God also says His wisdom is "impartial," which leads us to ask, "What's most fair for everybody?" Finally, that wisdom is "sincere." That means without hypocrisy. So the last "get it right" question is: "What's the honest and transparent thing to do?" Eight questions that lead us to decisions that are wise in heaven's eyes.
Ultimately, there is one trait that looms large in a truly wise man or woman. James 3:13 talks about "the humility that comes from wisdom." When you go for God's insight, when you have God's insight, it produces a truly humble person, not a proud person. No looking down on others, putting down others, proceeding in arrogance and self-reliance. Wise people are very unimpressed with themselves and totally impressed with God and their need of Him. So go for the wisdom that gives you God's perspective on what's going on. And for all those you influence, you will be a personal agent of the ways of God in their lives!