2014-06: Good Advice; Godly Wisdom
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Recently, Maya Angelou passed away after 86 very full and varied years of life. Maya became an author, a poet, an activist and has been touted as a woman of great wisdom, inspiring people from the ghettos to those of prominence. Many have spoken of Maya’s wisdom & insight. At her death, news stations and social media were awash, sharing insights from this special lady. I am not sure what her relationship with God was, but it is true - she had some good things to say.

I’ve been given some good advice in my time. Whilst growing up, it sometimes came as pithy sayings from my mother (which I may not have appreciated at the time, but have since seen the value of. Thanks Mum!). 

Things like: 

“If you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say anything at all.” 

Or, “If you pray, why worry? If you worry, why pray?” 

Sometimes it has come as timely, specific words of counsel or correction. There’s lots of advice around - some of it is good advice, but not all of it is good God advice.

Our society has more access to information than ever before, however obtaining all this information has not necessarily made us, as a culture, more wise. Some may have become more knowledgeable, but have not necessarily increased in wisdom. As I said to a young person recently: being smart is one thing, being wise is yet another. We may acquire facts & skills but not always good judgement, insight, discernment or discretion.

In 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 we find some fantastic advice David gave to his son, Solomon: 

“...learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as His sanctuary. Be strong & do the work.”

David left excellent words resounding in his son’s ears. David knew that if Solomon put first things first, then “all these things would be added.” (Matt 6:33) David knew how integral a priority it was to know God intimately; to worship and honour Him in authenticity and passion. He knew that the ‘ginosko’1 of God would lead Solomon in good and pure, purposeful and successful paths. David knew it would be through seeking God, His wisdom and guidance, that Solomon would be enabled to successfully carry out the huge opportunities and responsibilities that would present themselves to him over his lifetime.

This fatherly advice is GOOD. We too, should be seekers and knowers of God, pursuing Him with our ‘whole heart and a willing mind’. Then we can be of those who walk wisely and, thereto, become speakers of good, godly wisdom to others - our children, our friends, our co-workers - even a stranger in the street.

“Wise words bring many benefits, and hard workbrings rewards. Fools think their own way is right,but the wise listen to others.” Prov 12:14-15 NLT


1 A Greek word meaning, “to come to know, recognise or understand completely. To know by observation and experience.” 

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