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Wisdom: Skill for Life

Colossians 1:9 Colossians "We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding..." In this vese, Paul prays that the Colossian believers would gain wisdom in spiritual matters. This wisdom here is imparted by God to those who are close to Him. My family and I have been reading through the book of Proverbs for quite a while. We have seen that the Hebrew concept of wisdom largely meant skill—it was often used of a technical or artistic ability. In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is the skill of living life well; being able to live out God’s principles in a fallen world. It is sound judgment, the capacity to understand a how God’s Word relates to the days of our lives. One seminary friend defined wisdom as “knowledge rightly applied.”

This developing life-understanding is not something we can just force into being, rather it is something that God provides to His obedient and submissive children who seek to learn His ways. Wisdom for life takes time to learn and develop.

As a child, my dad and I used to build all kinds of model airplanes and boats. These days, if I was to build a balsa-wood model airplane with my son (we have yet to, but he’ll be old enough in a couple of years; Legos will have to suffice for now) but if we were to build an airplane, he may want it build it and fly it on the first day (and balsa-wood airplanes do fly!). But the reality of the project requires time and progression.

First the pieces must be cut from the sheets of wood. Then carefully the fuselage must be positioned together, held in place with string and glued. The glue will take time to cure. The wings will need to be fully constructed and cured before they can be attached to the fuselage. Once the body is assembled, then it must be covered with a tissue-paper and coated with a syrupy glue, strangely called “Dope”. Lastly the plane is ready for painting and decorations. The process takes time—many hours of work over many days. Each step is vital and cannot be skipped. Some steps require a specific order, some can be done in any order, but all steps must be fulfilled to complete the plane.

Building a model airplane is an apt analogy for growing in wisdom. As I mentioned, the Hebrew concept of wisdom largely meant skill and was routinely used of technical or artistic skill, ultimately point to God as their source. They took time to master. The tradesmen would learn processes, materials, and apply discernment between what is acceptable versus what must be reworked. Likewise, spiritual growth does not come over night. It requires persistent commitment to diligent pursuit of Christ. Spiritual truths must be learned, certain steps must be taken. Often ideas must be understood before they are ready to be connected with other ideas and applied to life.

Paul’s prayer for the Colossians to grow in spiritual wisdom was a prayer of blessing—that they would live life well, that they would be skilled in apply God’s word to their lives, that they would have the joy of obedience and the grace to endure whatever life would bring their way. This wisdom does not come overnight, but when it comes, truly the Christian is ready to take flight.
Russ Brewer

Russ Brewer

Rescued from the domain of darkness, transferred to the kingdom of the Son. Undershepherd of Grace. Husband of Corinne. Father of three. Chew-toy to Zeke...