The year is coming to an end, and it is time to pick a word for 2016...But, before revealing my new word, I will briefly share some highlights of my discovery related to my word for this past year: "wisdom".
Wisdom, or special discernment, is needed for every domain of our lives. Here is how we might depict such a thought with a Venn Diagram:
You might wish to change around the portions allocated to a particular domain, but this is how I see it working. Some people might be very wise in their profession, but lack wisdom for their personal lives. Some might be very wise in practical matters, but lack wisdom for their spiritual lives, etc.
This diagram does not necessarily depict the way it IS, but rather, the way I think it SHOULD be.
While the "Wisdom Literature" of the Bible can be found in the center of the Scriptures (open a Bible in the middle and you'll likely turn to Psalms), including Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes, I found a compelling lesson about wisdom by comparing narratives of the first and last books, Genesis and Revelation.
"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was...desirable for gaining WISDOM, she took some..."
Adam and Eve grasped WISDOM and received DEATH.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain to receive...WISDOM.
Jesus (the "second Adam") grasped DEATH and received WISDOM.
"Progressive revelation," or the idea that a concept is progressively developed throughout the Bible, seems to apply to "wisdom."
Psalms 111:10 (and elsewhere): "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Proverbs 14:16: "The wise fear the Lord and shun evil." (see also Job 28:28)
James 3:13: Fear the Lord, shun evil, and "do good."
I Corinthians 1: Christ is wisdom to us. We must be crucified with Christ, or die to self.
Ultimately, the path to true wisdom is the path of genuine humility.
As John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Therefore, the progression to wisdom is to
fear God...shun evil...do good...and die to self.
Here is the conundrum: It requires wisdom to pursue wisdom!
God help me to do so. May God give me the courage to fear God, shun evil, do good, and die to myself every day of my life!