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- Jacob Ninan
If we come to some conclusions thinking that what we have seen with our own eyes or heard with our own ears must be true, the inherent assumption here, even though we are not aware of it, is that we have all the factors we require concerning the matter for making that judgment. We are so confident that we are doing the right thing. But in reality, we may be totally unaware of many different factors involved there. It's like a high school student thinking he knows everything about mathematics when a PhD is aware of many things he does not know!
The more factors we become aware of, the wiser we become. This kind of wisdom comes from learning, from personal experience and from observing the others and the world around us. The Bible is a source of great wisdom if we meditate on it with reverence for God (Pr.9:10). It protects us from worldly wisdom and our own human desires (He.4:12), and shows us the perfect will of God (Ro.12:2). But even studying the Bible does not necessarily give us wisdom unless we seek to put into our daily life what we learn (He.5:13,14). Our daily life is a great teacher. Many times we learn from our own mistakes, if we are honest before God and with ourselves. The Holy Spirit opens our understanding to new things (Jn.14:26) as we live our lives before God (Ge.17:1), corrects us when we go wrong (Is.30:20,21) and shows us the way we should go (Ps.32:8).
We need heavenly wisdom in this world where other voices are loudly proclaiming their views to us. The wisdom of this world is about taking care of oneself and enjoying life. There is also a 'wisdom' that comes from demons (Jas.3:14,15) whose goal is to destroy us, by leading us into sin or leading us away from God.
There is something that makes a big difference for us Christians in our practical life. It is the importance we give to the word of God. Sad to say, many Christians who believe in the Bible actually use their human understanding coloured by the opinions of experts in the world for interpreting the Bible. Of course this will affect our practical life. God has given us His word as the ultimate authority and standard against which we are supposed to judge the opinions of the world.
Another mistake we may make is to judge new factors that come to our notice based on what we already have in our mind. This is like a participant in a debate competition rebutting whatever the opposite side is saying, even if it is true! So we may actually end up rejecting the additions to our wisdom that God is offering us! But if we can humbly acknowledge in our mind that some of what we believe to be right just now may need to be corrected with the new knowledge that comes in, then we can grow in wisdom.
There is generally wisdom in listening to many counsellors. But we must know that some of them may be just giving their opinion, and accept only what is in line with what God is saying. Honesty before God about the possibility of mistakes can be our protection.