Have you ever known someone who has been a Christian in the Church for a long time, yet they don't display the natural fruit of a life of wisdom and maturity? Why is this?
The reason is this: no one drifts into wisdom and maturity.
No one drifts into wisdom and maturity because wisdom and maturity are things that must be consistently and intentionally pursued. Age doesn't equal maturity. The wisest and most mature people I know are highly motivated, goal oriented people who aren't content to let life just happen to them.
They're intentional. They're teachable. They're hungry.
Proverbs 1:32 paints the picture of an apathetic person whose life ends in destruction. As I was doing my daily reading this week, I was struck by the contrast of Proverbs 2 and how it paints a different picture. Proverbs 2 describes a spiritually hungry person who pursues wisdom, and in the process, God is faithful to impart His wisdom, insight, and understanding to those who have earnestly been seeking it.
Take a look at the first four verses of Proverbs 2. Notice the eight verbs in four verses:
My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
Do these four verses describe you and your attitude towards wisdom?
Clearly, as these four verses indicate, our part is to consistently and intentionally pursue God through His Word. We are to pursue things like understanding and wisdom. The natural byproduct of this intense pursuit is then outlined in verses five through fifteen:
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
By obtaining wisdom, through consistent and intentional pursuit, a person hears from the Lord, matures, and is able to discern the right path in the midst of many challenges in life. Therefore, if we want to know how to handle the pressures and temptations of life in a wise and mature way, we ought to be people that are relentlessly studying the Bible and seeking understanding from His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
One of my favorite passages that encourage me to continue this daily pursuit, is 2 Peter 1:5-11. Once again, notice all the verbs and the action that is required on our part.
...make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
No one drifts into wisdom and maturity.
- What does your personal pursuit of wisdom and maturity look like?
- Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? (Matthew 5:6)
- Do you have a Bible reading plan and SMART goals for pursuing wisdom and growing in maturity? (2 Peter 1:5)
- Do you have accountability in this pursuit and in applying God's Word to your everyday life? (Proverbs 27:17)
Make a commitment to consistently and intentionally pursue God by seeking Him in His Word today. The more you learn, the more you should be applying to your daily life and seeing transformation along the way.
"The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity but to help you conform to Christ's image. Not to make you a smarter sinner but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts but to transform your life" - Howard G. Hendricks