Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Before we delve into wisdom I just want to briefly share how difficult boundaries have been in my own life and maybe you can identify with it. Growing up, I had a very unstable childhood and that continued throughout high school. My mom divorced twice and my sister and I pretty much changed schools constantly wherever my mom went.
It wasn’t easy.
Its not so much that I think it was my mom’s fault for a lack of healthy boundaries but more the fact that she had so much going on and this made modeling health boundaries difficult.
When my sister and I finally moved in with my dad, my dad like any loving parent who hasn’t seen his children for years besides the occasional Christmas showered us with whatever we wanted. In the long run, both my sister and I suffered from these early on experiences and had a hard time developing our own boundaries. The consequences of this permeated in all areas of our lives, especially relationships.
When we think of boundaries I think its important to understand what are some of the things that come to mind when that words pops up? Is it negative, restrictive? Does it strike feelings of anger or resentment? Or does it make you think of the importance of them? Perhaps, its entirely neutral.
Everyone is different but sometimes its important to recognize and introspect when we hear certain words that trigger a particular emotional reaction or thought. Why?
Trigger Words can help us better understand our past and how it may be affecting us in the present moments so we can ultimately learn from them and change.
Nonetheless, boundaries should be an important aspect in a Christian’s walk with God. However, boundaries really are part of the bigger aspect that God talks a lot about in the Bible which is wisdom.
Wisdom within Christianity really means the ability to evaluate the best course of action based on God’s word, our knowledge, our understanding of the situation, and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
That seems like a lot and it is because lets be honest, we don’t always make the wisest decisions.
One of the most important points I want to express in this article is that wisdom is more than following a set of rules.
If you are a Christian you are well aware of God’s laws and commandments and their intended purpose, to keep us from harm and help us become more like Jesus.
However, adhering to them is only part of the equation.
Wisdom is much more than that. I like to think of it this way,
God’s laws are like the dials on a compass and wisdom is making sure you know how to actually use and read it.
Here are 3 important points that I think will help you become more wise as a Christian:
1) Know Your Weaknesses In The Area Of Sin.
Part of being wise means knowing what your weaknesses are. For example, I recently heard this from one of our Pastors.
A man named John was playing tennis with his two friends, one of whom brought along his girlfriend Kelly. During one of the water breaks, John asked his playing partner if he could have a word with him.
John said, “I’m sorry to bother man but do you mind praying for me right now. For some reason, during the match, Kelly and I locked eyes for about 10 seconds it and made me really uncomfortable.”
Wow, is that being wise or what? Can you imagine if all Christians used this type of discernment?
John recognized his weakness (potential for lust), was honest and open with the Holy Spirit’s convictions, and took the right course of action which was to pray and let God stop it right there before it led to anything else.
You need to take an inventory and be honest with yourself, what are your weaknesses? Do you have a gambling addiction? Do you purchase things you can’t afford? Do you have a problem with lust?
If you don’t know your weaknesses then doing the next part will be like shooting a gun without a scope.
2) Build Boundaries Around Your Strengths And Weaknesses.
One thing I realized growing up was that I didn’t really have a whole lot of boundaries and this meant the only way I learned things was by experiencing them, often making the wrong choices that lead to unnecessary struggle and pain.
As I look back on some of the things I struggled with, I realize how easily they could have been prevented by implementing a few boundaries in my life.
For example, one of my very bad tendencies is judging others. I’m really critical of others and to no surprise, I’m also very critical of myself. This past year though, I was convicted by God on this and as a result started thinking of ways to stop doing it.
I bought a small pocket book and every time I caught myself judging someone else I would write out something positive about that person. Sounds crazy right?
Well, it has helped me tremendously. It has actually changed the way I look at people and most importantly, view myself. I’m now much more positive and less critical of others and while this isn’t the perfect example of a boundary, you understand the importance of implementing things in our life that redirect us or prevent us from sinning.
The last thing I want to add to this point is why boundaries should be set up around your strengths as well. The simple reason, we aren’t perfect.
Even Jesus, in all of His perfection, used boundaries in His brief time on earth. There is absolutely no reason to think that you are so strong in any particular area that you can’t fall, in fact, the moment you think that is the moment pride has already taken you over.
So be sure to implement boundaries in all areas of your life to prevent sin while not being over restrictive to the point that your walk with God becomes a legalistic ritual.
3) Understand The Value Of Wisdom.
In Proverbs 3:13 it says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.”
Proverbs 4:6-7 says, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
Wisdom at its core helps us to draw closer with God. When we are walking in the flesh, are you at peace? Do you feel the joy of God when your sinning?
You don’t because walking purely in the flesh doesn’t provide any spiritual value to us or the people in our lives.
However, when we try our best to walk according to God’s ways, using discernment, placing boundaries around our temptations, looking to God’s word for answers, and listening for God’s voice to direct our lives, we not only start to walk closer with God but also reap the benefits of drawing near to Him.
I know when I’m walking in the flesh that I have no peace inside, I am usually more worried than normal, and I rush and make decisions I later regret.
When I am walking with God though, I usually feel a deep sense of peace and comfort in my heart and use much better judgement when making decisions.
Understand the importance of wisdom in your life, it will not only save you a lot of heartache but will also help you go deeper in your relationship with God.
What does wisdom mean to you?