Shades of Wisdom

In our last post, we looked at wisdom- what it is not, what it is and how to get wisdom. In the subsequent posts, let us look at a portrait of what wisdom truly is

I will use this verse as our point of reference on this subject

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James‬ ‭3:13-18‬ ‭

If you look closely into this verse, it contrasts between earthly and godly wisdom. The differences lies in the root (source) and fruits (doings). We establish the fact in our last post that God is the source and giver of wisdom so walking in godly wisdom is the highest form and kind

Follow me on this journey as we look at the features of true wisdom.

1. It is pure

Pure in this sense means clean or undefiled. In October to November 2017, there were 77 high powered personalities and celebrities involved in sex scandals and the like which shook Hollywood and the world which as a result has given birth to the #metoo campaign. As I am writing now, I don’t know the number of cases as it has been too much to keep up with. When we are pure, it affects our view point and how we think. Men won’t see females as sex objects and women on the other hand will not see men as money bags or money magnets that can be exploited and then dump aside. The first sign of true wisdom comes to test in how you see things or your thoughts. If your thoughts are impure, definitely your actions will be too. Clean also means not believing in swindling people and thinking of how to make a fast buck on them. Too many people these days have ulterior motives why they want to be your friend

2. It is peaceable

A wise man is a proponent and believer in all things peaceful. One of the biggest tests of your wisdom will show in conflicts and disagreements. Do you want to be right? Sometimes our insistence on being right can prolong some conflicts to the point that the relationship is irreparable after the dust has settled. I used to be that kind- very rigid and stubborn till I had my way and had the last word. It is not wise to live this way. Thank God, I changed! It will take peace for a marriage to make it past year one or keep certain friendships. I have come to realize as I am growing in this life, you don’t have to always be right, for the sake of peace let it be even if you become the weaker link. That is true wisdom. Before Nelson Mandela left prison he said “As I stand before the door to my freedom, I realise that if I do not leave my pain, anger and bitterness behind me, I will still be in prison”.

He had inner peace and it showed in his peaceful dealings with apartheid and how he virtually became the father of Africa and an epitome of leadership. Why? Because he believed in all things peaceful. When you have the option for peace, why war and strife? It will take inner peace for our actions to be peaceful and peaceable. Peaceful people easily forgive and don’t harbor grudges. Please settle any grudge you have this week. It will speak well of you that you are operating in a superior kind of wisdom. Being right all the time is not wisdom, rather be kind!

3. It is gentle

Gentle has to do with your disposition in life especially when you are hard pressed. Today, society’s definition of gentle pertaining to the men lies in appearance that is how you are dressed and perhaps, manners. It goes beyond that. Do you lose it when you go through pain and painful experiences? Are you easily aggravated? Today I had a moment when I almost lost it when writing this article. I use the WordPress app on either my iPhone or iPad for writing. So while on my iPad today, I opened some browsers for some fact checks and when I went back to the app, everything I had written was erased just like that! The painful thing is I was at the end signing off… I “stewed” for a bit, wanted to forget about writing and do it next week cos I had to take a shower and head off to work. In that moment, I just prayed, cooled off & rewrote. As I write, I am sitting in the parking lot of my work and I am not late either. In fact do have bags of time. What helped? Been gentle in the face of aggravation. Things that work us all up are really no big deal! Honestly, blowing up exaggerates things. The problem will not be what it seems to be. Let us take our time and have a gentle disposition which will help in the long run

Let us all walk in true wisdom by being pure. Purity starts with how you think, your viewpoint. It will shape your actions. Decide to see the “good” in most things. Let us develop inner peace. Someone will ask, “how do I develop inner peace?”. Others will suggest eastern meditation, yoga… For me, I develop inner peace by either praying or meditating on God’s promises in the Bible. Finally, let us have a gentle disposition to how we react when we are hard pressed. It is a choice. You can help how you react to situations because you are a free moral agent

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

Wisdom

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:7-9‬

In this scripture passage; wisdom promotes, brings honor, makes you graceful and an authority. The Bible is admonishing us this day to get wisdom because it is the principal [beginning, first, chief & choice] thing

The question is how do we get it? Before that, let us attempt to define wisdom by knowing what it is NOT in the first place. I believe we confuse wisdom with knowledge; say, a clever man with great oratorial skills oozing with so much charisma can easily be deemed wise but the appropriate word should be he is knowledgeable. The fact that you are such a great charismatic talker doesn’t necessarily mean you have wisdom

I remember in my childhood, my mother and her friend drove to this particular doctor who was a senior at a faculty of a teaching hospital. We arrived in front of his house sitting in the car then he came out; a very disheveled man with unkept finger & toenails (was wearing slippers), unkept hair, his clothes looked dirty then his dental formula & teeth looked bad BUT he was a doctor- a senior at a faculty. Why do I use this example? Most of us are like “smoking doctors”. We have knowledge but it doesn’t benefit us because we don’t apply it

What is wisdom then? It is the intelligent application of knowledge you understand to your advantage. The key word for me is application. I see wisdom in three phases; you get knowledge which is information, then understanding which is comprehension and then application of the knowledge you understand- wisdom

Many know things or are very informative. They can talk a good game but bad at taking their own advice. They are like car salesmen (no offense). Sometimes you can talk to a dealer and he will give you all the specs of an Audi convincing you to buy it till you ask him, “so what car do you drive?” Then he will tell you, “erm, a Honda”. Such a contradiction, it always makes me laugh. Why don’t you drive the product you are selling me if you believe in it so much? Good to have knowledge, all the better to get understanding but best to practice and apply! This is how we enter into the realm of wisdom.

Now how do we get it? Consider this scripture please for our attention

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬

So fearing God is the first step to wisdom. What does it mean to fear God? It means to develop reverence and respect to and towards God. That is honor. When you honor a person, it shows in your time with the person and how you value his opinions and thoughts concerning a matter. Well, when we honor God, we make time for him to develop a relationship. We also value his ideals and ideas. We live by his principles- some of which are love, justice, righteousness, mercy, fairness…

The second step is to pray for wisdom

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.” James‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Each and every waking morning, we need wisdom. Wisdom is like fuel in a car. You need many refills if the car will perform at its optimum capacity. Likewise, so do we! We live in this complex scenario called life. You never know its twists and turns hence the need to walk in this life daily with wisdom. May this scripture give you much solace to call on Him, the giver of wisdom

I could give more but let me end with this last one

“Hear, O children, the instruction of a father, And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment.” PROVERBS‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Listening to a father here represents the old and experienced. There are people who have gone ahead of us, seen more than us and seen farther! Their perspective of and on life is deeper as a result of experience. It will do us a great favor to listen, interact and apply discretionally what they tell us. In today’s world, experience is downplayed in favor of being innovative, smart and youthful. How has that helped society? Wisdom from an experienced man is like fine wine. The older in the cellar, the better it taste. Never despise old men or women’s wisdom because they can’t operate our current electronic gadgets.

May wisdom be our portion daily. In my next series of posts, let us look at a portrait of wisdom

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

Recess over, class in session

The FIFA World Cup in Moscow ended last night with France deservingly the champions. It has been an interesting tournament. So many shocks; top dogs defeated by underdogs, a bit of drama and a lot of sensational plays. Well done to Russia too for excellently hosting the event

It’s over now and we knew the last one standing last night as champions. Sports is very leisurely in nature and tends to wind us down but sometimes in our leisurely moments, certain truths can’t help but to be noticed. I enjoyed the tournament as a sports fan even though my teams I tipped didn’t make it but at least I took some pointers which I will share just a few with you

1. Never be proud. Always stay humble

Nikola Kalinić didn’t start in the first game of the tournament for his national team, Croatia against Nigeria. With five minutes left to play, he was asked to come on but protested because he didn’t start the match. Well, he was an integral part in Croatia’s qualifying series to the World Cup and also a decent player for AC Milan in Italy, where he plays professionally. He saw himself as big time but the coach didn’t allow him to get too big for his britches so he had to send him home. It was a risky move because that meant Croatia were not going to advance in the tournament. Yesterday, the last two teams playing for the Cup were France and Croatia without Kalinić. Always stay humble and never see your self as indispensable. The truth is we all are dispensable. Someone can do what you are doing far better than you. Never get too big or you will find this shocking revelation at your expense

2. Limit distractions

The England National Team really did well to my surprise. Not just me, but most wouldn’t tip England to advance that far in most tournaments. Harry Kane, the England captain became the star of the team scoring six goals to win the Golden Boot Award (top scorer in the tournament). Howbeit, I couldn’t help but notice Kane’s statement about him and the team overall staying off social media because it affected their performance in the Euro 2016 tournament in France where they had such a dismal performance. Limit distractions if you want to be effective in life. Kane had the same potential he displayed this year two years ago but distractions got the better of him and his performance which affected the team overall

3. Be welcoming and hospitable

France, the current winners have 15 out of the 22 players with African roots. This speaks to me about the tolerance of France in their race relations and how they embrace multiculturalism and diversity. Can we all learn how to get along irrespective of our accents, origins, faith and so on? Let us learn to treat everyone with fairness, respect and decency

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews‬ ‭13:2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

This scripture really applies to France’s success last night. The strangers they entertained and received with open arms have become their angels in helping them win. Let us respect humanity. Period!

4. Support somebody

Most teams performed well not just because of team talent or the technical prowess of its coaching system BUT ALSO THE FANS. In sports, the phrase, “home” and “away” makes a lot of difference because of the fan base and support. Personally, I think Russia did well partly because of their fans. Teams that have won in the past, check their fan base. They know how to rally support and boost morale of their team. This week, be an encourager and say nice words which you mean from your heart. Affirm someone, be a fan. These seemingly, small actions go a long way in the run. Let us be each other’s keeper

These are the musings of a soccer fan’s lessons on the game he loves

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

Are we free?

Just last week Wednesday, which was July 4th, it was a holiday! I enjoyed that break which meant no work, then had fun with some friends that came over plus we ate good. All these were in commemoration of America’s independence. Had the opportunity to see some fireworks at night which can be a sight to behold

We celebrate independence to thank God for our freedom from oppression. When a country wrests its power from its colonial masters, it means the country has come of age and is ready to rule its own affairs

Whilst enjoying my day off and chilling, I had a moment to myself thinking on what does that mean for us as a people, individually speaking? Are we free? I think one of the powerful expressions of freedom is to walk in love and forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult subjects to deal on because if truth be told, it is not easy putting that lesson into practice because it is at the expense of your emotional pleasure for vengeance and rebuttal in favor of taking the high road. I must admit I have hated “the high road” on many occasions. Not fun at all taking that route. Do you enjoy that route?

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Well, one of the ways we can easily forgive is to realize and know how God through Christ has forgiven us. You can only forgive from a point and position of love. Personally, when I came to that realization of that truth, it became easier to letting go of grudges and forgiving at will. At first, forgiveness was a real pain in the butt and a lot of effort for me. Understanding God’s rich, unconditional and everlasting love towards me is a very free and empowering experience

I pray for you reading that you will come to experience that rich kind of love by making a commitment to give your life to Jesus by believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”. You can’t have an abstract relationship with God and expect to experience this kind of love. I wished it worked like that so that all 7 billion plus can understand this love but unfortunately, it doesn’t! It will take a personal relationship with God which is a spiritual journey for that to happen

Why forgive? Because you don’t surrender your thoughts and emotions to the person who has offended you anytime his name comes up in a conversation or a thought of him occurs in your mind. Forgiveness releases that person’s hold of your emotions and thoughts and that is when you can say you have true freedom- this is independence

And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.” Matthew‬ ‭18:34‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Unforgiveness is a heavy debt on your soul. The context of this story is a parable narrated by Jesus on forgiveness when a servant was forgiven by a king for a large sum of money. Immediately he left, he found one of his servants who owed him a paltry amount in relation to what he owed the king. He couldn’t extend the forgiveness to this servant he had just experienced at the hands of the king. He put the servant in prison and word got to the king of his wicked treatment so the king in retaliation decided to put the guy in prison to pay all his debts before he will be released. Before that, the king was angry that couldn’t the servant show the same kindness?

Friend, anytime you hold on to a grudge, you are in bondage- you put yourself into bars of torture and that is tantamount to a debt owed. Can you argue my case out that you are really free and it is worth holding on to that grudge?

Please make that phone call for reconciliation, forgive that person that betrayed you to the point of tears, forgive the in-despicable (I know, very very horrible things), let it go so that you can walk in true freedom. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to be friends again as it used to be. Of course, the dynamics of the relationship might change but at least in your heart, you know you have experienced independence anytime your paths cross or the person’s name comes up either in a conversation or your thoughts

If there is any prayer we should pray today, it should be, “Lord teach me how to love”

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

It’s not over yet!

The FIFA World Cup being played in Moscow, Russia currently has been nothing short of amazing. This takes me back to a particular match I saw or followed; the France-Argentina duel. It had all the trappings of a classic soccer match- the suspense, the fans of both teams; with the French overall being one of the most passionate then with interesting personalities like a certain Diego Maradona long removed from his playing days in the Argentine camp. I thought it was over for the French team then within 11 minutes of the second half (57th to 68th minute), France scored three goals and that was the end of the story for Argentina… au revoir… Argentina were out! An injury time goal in the 93rd minute still couldn’t save them

Sometimes sports events like these for our leisure mirrors life. We just entered into the second day of the second half of the year. I don’t know how your first half turned out to be? For all those feeling down and out, already thrown in the towel for the year 2018- declaring it over

You are the one I am talking to through this article; pick your head up, it is not over yet. Life like soccer is also made of two halfs; the first might had not been rosy and pleasant but you have life and the opportunity to rewrite something this second half. Don’t throw it all away yet. For some of us too, it gives us the opportunity to press the reset button- you may have to do some readjusting of your priorities

“Even a tree has more hope! If it is cut down, it will sprout again and grow new branches. Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays, at the scent of water it will bud and sprout again like a new seedling”. Job‬ ‭14:7-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Enter into this second half with hope knowing things will work out for you. Pray, strategize, put action steps to the plan, have faith and do the impossible. It might work again this second time. Sometimes life will not take no for an answer and reward those who have the audacity of hope

No matter how far you have come into your journey in 2018, know that there is hope this second half of the year.

I pray for you this morning that may we all end high on a good note, come December 31st

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love