Is 'Wisdom' a Cop Out?



I remember a time when life was so simple - back when I was a child. I was bold enough to dream bigger than what I could see. I wasn’t afraid. So I took risks and dared to do countless new things with little to no experience. Sometimes, it turned out great. Like when I learnt to ride a bike despite how many times I fell off. On other occasions, things didn’t go too well. Like when me and my best friend ran away from home. We lasted 1-2 hours on the run. But when it started to rain and a bird pooped on his shirt, we quickly turned back and went home 😢.


I carried this boldness into my teens. It took me to a secondary school where I didn’t know anyone at all. It’s also one reason why I eventually studied law, despite how hard I was told it would be. And when I finally chose to surrender to God, it’s what helped me to leave my old ways behind. Even though I’d never seen God face to face, I was confident the gospel message was true. He’d paid for my sins to adopt me as His son. That was good enough for me to dare to follow after Him.


I’ve realised something that happens to many of us as we grow older - we lose it. That child-like boldness to do what we’ve never done. That innocent, care-free attitude, unmoved by the opinions of others. The kind of boldness it took for Abraham to leave his hometown and take his family to a land unknown (Genesis 12:1-6). The kind of boldness it took for David to fight a warrior-giant with no armour on - just his shepherd-staff, a few stones and a sling (1 Samuel 17:32-40).


Think for a moment about what it would’ve been like for these two. Think about some of the potential conversations:


Abraham


“Where exactly are you going Abraham?”.


Abraham - “Erm, hard to explain really. I don’t really know where we’re going, but God will tell us when we get there”.


David


“Hold up David. You mean to tell me that a small shepherd-boy like you will win the war against Goliath? Even though our trained soldiers couldn’t do it?”


David - “Yup, just like I said before. No armour, no backup. Just me, God, my staff, sling and some stones. I’ve got this”.


The story of our lives


We sometimes don’t take risks in life in the name of “being wise”. Career changes, plans to relocate or maybe starting a business or blog. Whatever it might be, many of us are paralysed by fear. Fear that things won’t work out (either because we’ve never done it before, or we’ve previously been burnt by failure). Fear about what people might say because we don’t have a roadmap to explain our decisions.


Here’s the truth. Sometimes, we might have a solid plan. Other times, we might be labelled ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’ for not knowing the details about the future (like Abraham) or for not using the methods expected by others (like David). It’s never nice being on the receiving end of this. But we can’t allow fear to hold us back from the risk of these labels and rejection.


Fear only has power when we allow it to drive our actions/inactions. So how do we overcome these fears? By remembering God’s perfect love which He demonstrated through the gospel message (see 1 John 4:16-18, Romans 5:8 and John 3:16-17). When we remember that He gave His only begotten Son to buy our freedom and adoption, it changes how we see life, and even our earthly risks. We now see God (the Eternal, Supreme and Sovereign Ruler of the entire universe) as our Father, and stand confident that He’s rooting for our best. And with God on our side and the safety of His Fathering, we can be less concerned about the opinions of others. Embracing our identity as His children, we can learn to let go and take ‘risks’ with all boldness.


We don’t have to be afraid of things not working out, because our Father works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). His thoughts and plans for us are good, not evil, but we don’t always see this when things don’t look too great (Jeremiah 29:11). Be bold, be daring, take risks with God like a child. Wisdom is a good and godly thing, no doubt. But we have to be sincere about what’s driving our actions/inactions. Is it genuinely wisdom, or are we simply using “wisdom” to cover up the fears we have beneath?

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