“Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:16c)
This is post #17 in Paul’s “Marks of a True Christian from Romans 12:9-21. It’s been a while since I’ve written. But I’m excited to get back on track because this series has really been a great challenge to me personally. I hope you’ll join me as we finish the series over the next few weeks!
This challenge is really interesting. First of all, before we can not do “it”, we need to know what “it” is. So what does it mean to be wise in your own sight? Well, let me tell you all about it. “Well hold on,” you say. “What makes you such an expert, Kate?” Well…because I try and do “it” all the time. I try and figure situations out on my own based on my experiences, my emotions, and my “wisdom.”
Listen, I do have wisdom and I do have valuable life experiences, and my emotions are sometimes (let me stress sometimes) accurate. But all of those are gifts from God anyway. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:16-17a) The truth is, when I try to rely SOLELY on my own busted self for navigation it goes something like this…
Here’s the thing. I can (and I have) responded to situations without asking God for help. I’ve used my own navigation system to try and work my way through problems, relationships, finances, and decisions. And here I am. My life hasn’t fallen apart (though some may say it’s come close). But I tell you one thing, I’ve found a better way. Cause here’s the deal: when I’m flying solo, I notice a few things.
1. I’m anxious.
2. I’m nervous.
3. I’m worried.
4. I feel a ton of pressure.
5. I feel out of control.
Now, contrast that with times that I’ve actually pushed “Pause” and asked God what He thinks. What He has to say on the issue. What He wants me to say or do.
1. I have peace.
2. I have peace.
3. I have peace.
4. I have peace.
5. You get the picture.
Practically speaking, how does one transition from flying solo and relying on their “inner” navigation system, to seeking and trusting and applying the wisdom of God?
Well you gotta hear from Him.
To hear from Him you gotta recognize His voice.
To recognize His voice you gotta know Him.
To know Him you gotta spend time with Him.
To spend time with Him you gotta read what He’s got to say in His Word and talk to Him in prayer (and…GASP, listen in prayer)
It’s pretty amazing, really.
Last night I listened to a friend pray for another friend and use these words: “Help her to exchange her emotions and knowledge for Your wisdom.” I thought it was profound. It’s not an even exchange, really. Our emotions and knowledge are not a fair trade for God’s wisdom. Yet He honors that request. What an amazing blessing. What an amazing God. It’s so simple. Lay down our knowledge and pick up His wisdom. So simple, yet so complex. It’s something I’ll be fighting to do for the rest of my life. Because truly, I am not the master of my fate or the captain of my soul. I may have thought that I was. But I’m not. I may have thought that that gig was going well, but it was not.
So, as I close, let me ask you this. Where in your life have you been relying on your own emotions and knowledge instead of asking for God’s wisdom?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)