A couple of weeks back, I was walking through the parking lot from the grocery store to my car, squinting because the sun was doing its best to blind me. With my face all pinched up, I realized something that made me feel extremely silly . . . my sunglasses were perched on my head right where I put them. I was squinting for no reason, and I had the answer to my problem right in front of me—or if we’re being technical, on top of me.
That’s a silly story of my absentmindedness, but it brings to light a good point: we often have the answer right in front of us, but we fail to put it to use. Like when you lose something and look all around, not remembering where you put it . . . and then you look, and oops! it’s in your hand. Ever done that? Surely I’m not the only one!
As Christian young women, we have the choice to go to one of two places for guidance, advice, and wisdom. We can turn to the world and find answers that ultimately lead to unfulfillment, dissatisfaction, and emptiness, or we can go to God and ask what he thinks. Proverbs 2:6 says: “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” When God gives wisdom, it’s not a game of monkey in the middle, where He tosses it over our heads so we can never quite catch it.
Have you ever felt that God didn’t give you wisdom when you asked for it? Maybe it was about whether to attend college or to pursue a certain relationship. If we truly ask, and if we’re willing to listen, God will give us wise counsel.
Here’s the deal. A lot of times, we get knowledge and wisdom confused. Knowledge is to know something. For instance, I know the speed limit is sixty miles per hour. I’m also aware of the fact that if I go over that limit, it’s likely I’ll get a traffic ticket. However, knowing that won’t save me from a ticket. Wisdom is knowing what to do with the knowledge that we have. I know I’ll get a ticket for speeding, but I have to have wisdom to push the brake and stop speeding.
So how do we find wisdom? How do we know what God wants us to do?
- Ask Him. Often, when faced with situations that call for wisdom, it’s easy to worry, turn the options over and over in our heads, and stress about what to do. But have we actually taken the time to stop and look up at our heavenly Father for advice? Ask Him for guidance, and then listen to what He says. Sometimes we just simply forget to ask.
- Ask Others. A lot of times, God uses the people in our lives to help us know what steps to take. Ask a wise parent, older sibling, someone at your church, or a godly friend for their advice and counsel. They can help you see things from a different perspective and bring things to your attention that you might not have known before.
- Look Around You. Just like my sunglasses perched on my head weren’t being put to use, sometimes God has already given us the answer we’re looking for. In John chapter twelve, Jesus gives the disciples some advice: “While you have the light, believe in the light” (v. 36). After that, Jesus doesn’t stick around to allow the disciples to come and ask, ”Okay, so when You said believe in the light, are You sure You meant that? Or are You saying . . . ?”
Nope, it actually says, “When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.” What!? He hid from them? Jesus wasn’t trying to play games. He had given them advice, and He didn’t wait to hear their “but waits.” He had told them the right thing to do, and no questions were necessary.
The Bible gives us so many clear truths:
- Love others (John 13:34).
- Forgive others (Col. 3:13).
- Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).
When we have these in mind, we can take them and apply it to our situation.
A hard relationship that’s struggling? God says to love, so how can I love them through this situation?
Figuring out if college is a wise decision? Ephesians 5:16 says to make “the best use of the time.” Would college be the best use of my time right now? Why or why not?
The Word of God is “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path” (Ps. 119:105). A lamp doesn’t do us much good if we leave it on the top shelf in a cabinet. Use His truth to sift through your situation and to figure out what would bring the most glory to Him, because really, that’s the goal.
When have you faced difficult decisions? How has God given you wisdom? I’d love to talk in the comments!