Wisdom: A Burden or a Blessing?


In the past year or so, my life has been full of excitement. I got a new job with incredible coworkers, I was accepted into my dream school, I met some of the best people during a trip to Mexico, I found out I would be an aunt (end of this month!), I joined the Asheville Performing Arts Academy for my senior year and somehow managed to get one of my dream roles. The past two months specifically have also been full of a lot of change. From being out of work, to online rehearsals, to getting this blog back up and running (thanks, Squaretrade), to spending more time at home and on my own than I have in… years probably. All these things have led me to asking the Lord over and over again for the same thing: wisdom. 

Now, wisdom is a broad topic. I think it’s an important topic. I want to share with you guys what I’ve been learning about wisdom and my relationship with Christ over the past few weeks especially. I’ve always been one who wanted to be wise and perhaps more than that be seen as wise. That’s a very pride-filled statement, but it’s something I’ve had to face when considering motivation sometimes. I’ve had to ask myself on multiple occasions, “Why are you asking for wisdom? Is it for the sake of God’s glory and others’ well being or to boost your own self-image?” At that point some repentance is often necessary. I’d like to think recently I’ve become more and more genuine when it comes to my requests for wisdom. Today I want to focus more on another aspect of wisdom which is where it comes from and if it’s worth seeking.

The answer to the first part seems fairly obvious, doesn’t it? Wisdom comes from God because He ultimately is wisdom. But here’s something to consider: Are we ourselves wise? Can we become wise on our own? I would say yes (in a sense). What about the second part, then? Is it worth going after? Consider Solomon. In 1 Kings 3 he comes to God after becoming king and asks for wisdom, for an understanding heart to properly judge between good and evil among his people. God grants him wisdom, riches, and honor in return unlike anyone else would possess. He tells Solomon that should he follow His commands, his days will be lengthened. Now, this wisdom Solomon had came from God, but Solomon did not remain faithful to Him. He served other gods and goddesses, he sought after foreign women who he probably knew would lead him astray (1 Kings 11). Later he writes Ecclesiastes and speaks of the burden of having so much wisdom (Ecclesiastes 1:18).

Here was the disconnect for me: If this wisdom he had was from God and God’s burden is light, then why was he so crushed by his wisdom? Additionally, in Proverbs 3 Solomon talks about the ways of wisdom and it doesn’t line up with some of what he writes in Ecclesiastes. Perhaps I’m too presumptuous, but the logical thing to me is him turning from God and relying instead on himself and other idols is the reason for that.

What does this mean for us? I’ve been looking all throughout the Bible recently to find everything I can about wisdom. Why it’s important, where it comes from, if wisdom will always be a burden, and if it is, why would I want it? I want to look at a few passages and then discuss my thoughts some more. I’m going to just reference the passages but give you specific verses that stuck out to me to save a little space on a couple of these. PLEASE go and check these passages yourself for context and to fact check. Don’t just take my word for it, consider them yourself. Anyhow, here’s what I’ve found in scripture:

The Importance of Wisdom

Proverbs 3

(13-18) Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Notes: There’s an entire book of the Bible (Proverbs) dedicated to wisdom and its importance. The book of Job also talks about the power and value of wisdom on multiple occasions as well! Seems important to me!

Wisdom from Christ (not a burden, pure and complete)

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16, 3:18-4:13, + MORE

There’s SO much about wisdom in 1 Corinthians. Here are some specific verses that stood out: 

(1:25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

(1:30-31) It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.

(3:18-20) Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

Note: Reading 3:18-20 is what causes me to believe that man can be wise. However, this passage (as well as the first verse shared) states the weakness of that wisdom as well. 

2 Corinthians 3:4-18

(4-7) And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 

(14-16) But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 

Note: Verses 4-7 could also be put in the “importance of wisdom” part I think. It’s through our faith in Christ that we can gain wisdom and it’s through that wisdom (the veil being removed) that we understand the Word.

Jude 1:24-25

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

Romans 13:11-14

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Note: This one isn’t as easy to connect as some of the others, so I want to explain briefly. Christ is our wisdom (seen in 1 Cor.), putting on Christ is like putting on that wisdom, and practicing wisdom keeps us walking properly (a common theme of the book of Proverbs).

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So, here’s what I’m seeing: First, wisdom is important for us to have for a few reasons including that it is worth more than gold, and it equips us to do God’s work (Prov. 3:13-18, 2 Tim. 3:14-17). Next, God alone is wise (Jude 1:24-25). Now one could say man can be wise to an extent (we’re made in God’s image after all), but it won’t take us far.

Any wisdom that we could gain on our own is still foolishness when compared to God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:25, 3:19-22). Our own wisdom is weak, it leads us astray, it ends up pulling us into doubt or pride (consider Job). God’s wisdom brings joy and peace. It equips us and assures us. 

How can we gain wisdom? Well, Christ died to become our wisdom as well as our sanctification and righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30-31). Just like he gives us righteousness because He knows we cannot make ourselves righteous, He gives us wisdom because He knows we aren’t wise. He knows that trying to achieve those things on our own is a burden we can’t bear. 

So, our SUFFICIENCY is in Christ Jesus. Nothing is from ourselves – not even true wisdom (2 Cor. 3:4-7). We are also able to “put on Christ”, rid ourselves of that doubt, pride, and the lusts of the flesh and instead walk in the armor of light (Rom. 13:11-14). It’s when we do that, when we accept the Spirit of the Lord that our eyes can be opened to truth and knowledge of the word. It’s then that we begin to be transformed into clearer images of God and our hearts and minds are in greater alignment with His (2 Cor. 3:14-16).

Last thing that I want to point out: we should never come to a place where we believe we’ve learned everything we need to. There is always more to learn about God. We’ll never fully understand Him until we stand face to face with Him. We should never see ourselves as being wise. First because our wisdom is ultimately not our own and our boasting should be in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31). Second because we must be able to recognize our foolishness to gain wisdom (1 Cor. 3:18-23).

When we decide that the wisdom we have is enough, we close off all opportunities to gain deeper understanding and I believe that is always something we should strive for. Not just for ourselves, but for those we interact with. We were sent to make disciples. To do that we have to understand what we’re teaching. The way to understanding is through relationship with Christ and time in the Word.

So friends, take a step back today. Get out of your head, let go of your pride, accept that there is so much more to learn that we are simply incapable of comprehending on our own. Don’t let the idea of independence keep you from recognizing foolishness and the weight of trying to gain wisdom yourself. Jesus will supply when we put our faith in Him and deny ourselves. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30), He died to take yours for His – give it to Him! It is not shameful to rely on God, it is empowering to know you’re in the hands of the almighty. It’s an honor to have access to wisdom through Him.

Thank you all so much for taking time out of your day to read these thoughts of mine. I hope they were an encouragement and a challenge to you. Comment below with any additional information, verses, and thoughts you may have or DM me on Instagram @gabrielle____r! I love to hear from you guys. Abide in Him, may He bless you and keep you. Have a wonderful week!

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