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One of my complaints about the age in which we live is that we hear many opinions but little wisdom. I am happy to state categorically that this is not how God would have it. As we shall see, wisdom is older than the universe itself! Also, wisdom is not something which can be acquired by an education: you may well know very intelligent, educated people who clearly lack the ability to make wise decisions in life! Wisdom has a divine dimension. Wisdom was built into the creation. Wisdom chimes with the deep searching of human hearts for truth and meaning. Perhaps most of all, Jesus embodied, spoke and demonstrated divine wisdom.

I spent most of my working life in education. A very strange idea has developed there: its maxim seems to be – “if it’s new, it’s better”. It doesn’t take much analysis to see that this has nothing to do with wisdom. Firstly, wisdom has a divine origin; and secondly, wisdom is learned through experience – it can be passed on. This philosophy, of “new is better” also seems to manifest itself in political life under an ideology called “progressive”. Describing something as progressive, does not automatically mean it is therefore wise.


This series is an attempt to understand both what wisdom is and its vital importance in spiritual life. Paul wrote to the young Corinthian church about wisdom when it became clear that they too had many opinions but little wisdom. We shall look in detail at Paul’s teaching in Corinthians during this study and expand out into the whole bible to find out about this wonderful spiritual secret.

In Proverbs 8, wisdom is anthropomorphised – it speaks as though it is human:

Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:

“To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all humanity. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” …

“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favour from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:1-36)

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