Monday, July 19, 2010

The Alchemy of Wisdom

If fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom (and it is),
then what comes next?
Credentials. Don't we love 'em!? They serve a purpose, that's for certain; but all too often they infer, or confer something that may or may not be valid.
We do like our doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers to have their degrees. We also want our political & corporate leaders to have all "the right stuff"; even though, more-often-than-not, we haven't a clue what that right stuff looks like. Credentials tell us a lot about the people we esteem highly.
History tells us "right stuff" changes with the generations or the cultures employing it, and it'll be just as fickle. Meander awhile in the Leadership section of any book store or the public library and it'll take about 10 minutes to ascertain what credentials were deemed vital 1840, or 1926, or 1978, or 1995. It'll take another 10 minutes to conclude they - the credentials that connote expertness - vary widely.
So, what is it that follows the fear of the Lord that takes us beyond the beginnings - the bedrock - of wisdom? What credential(s) might we add as a prefix or suffix to our name that tells the world we've arrived; that we're worthy? Is it education? The application of education? Life experience?
I don't have the answer(s). I'm merely wrestling with the "what comes next?". Is it listening, or learning, or comprehending, or obeying or ????
One thing I know: whatever the answer, it will be derived from the alchemy of knowledge and understanding. Therein lies a credential that is formed from the inside-out.
... My people are destroyed from
a lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6
... a people without understanding
will come to ruin.
Hosea 4:14
... it is the spirit in a man,
the breath of the Almighty,
that gives him understanding.
Job 32:8
The unfolding of Your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130
... if you call out for insight and
cry aloud for understanding ...
and if you search for is as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom,
and from His mouth comes knowledge
and understanding.
Proverbs 2:3, 4, 5-6


Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I just love your heart and your way with words! Your posts always speak so to my spirit.

Jackie said...

Great words here, Kathleen! Oh yes, life must be lived from the inside out.......The scriptures you shared are some of my fav's and always encourage my heart as I seek Him for greater wisdom and understanding and direction!

Sweet Blessings!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Interesting post. There's a lot of unlearned brains out there... it's to their own destruction. There's no excuse for not seeking wisdom. There's too much out there not too.

Sonja said...

Oh I like this one! Another favorite that fits right into all of this is "you will search for me and you will find me, when you search with your whole heart". I know that there have been many times in the past when my search was not with my whole heart. Big mistake!

Keep those words coming!

Praying for safe travel and move.



Rita said...

If our hearts are not right, our lives will not be. Thanks for the reminder. Great post today as always!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Psalms 119:130...the verse that keeps me going through this life I live. "Wisdom for the simple" precious this is. God's wisdom in exchange for mine. Amazing grace!

cindy said...

Thank you for your post! I needed to hear this.

Debbie said...

Well you have certainly made me think this morning...what a wonderful post! God's wisdom is soo worth the search.

Good luck on the move. I didn't go far, but what a job. I am soo happy to be getting settled. I honestly had forgotten how much is involved. Many blessings to you as you begin your adventure.

HUGS, Debbie

Yolanda said...


What an awesome question you have posed!!! Something that I've prayed for several times a week, often every day, is for God-ly character and integrity. Not sure what comes next, but I do believe that if we are truly listening and obeying God, He will reveal what it is to each one of us.


KelliGirl said...

Hmm, I never thought about what comes "next."

I think my only credential comes not from I've done, but Who I know. I'm not qualified, but I know the One who qualifies.

Blessings and prayers for a smooth move and safe travels. At 115 degrees I can imagine the promise of cooler temps is quite alluring!

Debbie said...

You're just so smart Kathleen. I've found that knowledge and wisdom are two different things. People are often seeking the right credentials. Yes, we want to be sure our doctor has the right credentials to practice his craft. But it's interesting that people will listen when they know you care. So having all the knowledge doesn't alway compute to impacting a person. Using that knowledge wisely is best. And I'm so glad that the credentials I bear are that I am a child of the Most High God.

Love you,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Wisdom and understanding are linked. The simple definition I've come to is: Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge and understanding to a given situation.

Thanks for a great post.

Susan :)

Joan Davis said...

When I saw your post my heart jumped for a moment because the verse that you summarised at the very top was the one I highlighted in my Bible and then wrote in my prayer journal this morning! "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise." Psalm 111:10

If I could choose any credential to add to my name, it would be "Christ Follower"!

Thanks for your insightful post!

Living for Him, Joan