A crisis provides many opportunities for people of all stripes to display or fail to display wisdom. Whether personal, national, or global, a crisis presents an array of choices with the possibility of vastly different outcomes—but also typically with a lot of unknowns. During these times leaders often emerge, and pretenders wilt. However, one major characteristic defines the core difference between the two: wisdom. Wisdom describes a combination of expertise, experience, intelligence, and practicality that creates good judgment in navigating uncharted waters. Unfortunately, many fail to show wisdom—not because they lack these underlying traits but because they neglect looking to the Source of all wisdom as their foundational guide. While the entire book of Proverbs addresses many specific areas of life with wisdom such as this, in the eighth chapter Solomon praises wisdom itself as a reminder that good decisions do not come from reacting to the moment but in maintaining a core dedication to following God’s will.
Wisdom is readily available (Prov. 8:1-11). Any crisis situation is begging for wisdom, as is all of life itself. However, God has provided guidance in principle that applies to the most difficult situation we will ever face. While He supplies knowledge through His providence to address the specific issues of the moment, He offers wisdom through His inspired testimony that points to doing the right things the right way with the right priorities. Men often struggle to find this balance, inserting selfish motives and political calculations into moral decision-making. Wisdom eludes people—not because it is unavailable or difficult to recognize, but because they are not looking for it.
Wisdom is extremely valuable (Prov. 8:12-21). Congregations, businesses, and governments all desperately need people with wisdom to guide them through tough times and offer sound counsel when the complexity of a problem becomes overwhelming. Regardless of the organization, rejecting evil at every turn forms the foundation for wisdom and ultimately will lead to long term health and prosperity, whether spiritual, financial, or geopolitical. Many pursue money or power or both, but wisdom has greater value by far, piloting the way for success in life beginning with character and marching forward toward other goals. Those who pursue other objectives first devalue wisdom and therefore undermine themselves in the process.
Wisdom is divinely demonstrable (Prov. 8:22-31). Creation itself bears witness to wisdom. Despite evolutionists’ attempts to label the delicate balance of the earth’s ecosystem, its multitude of flora and fauna, and the whole universe itself as “accidents of nature,” the symmetry of every system, internal and external testifies to the design of knowing wisdom. Yet, those who ignore the spoken wisdom of God fret daily over millimeters of difference in sea levels, cyclical variation in climate, and potential disaster from an asteroid collision. They fill their hearts with unnecessary anxiety because they refuse to see the wisdom of a Master Craftsman, who not only built the system but who also maintains it. They fear for their lives because they reject its divinely demonstrated purpose: to provide the perfect temporary habitation for man so that he might prepare himself for the perfect perpetual habitation for man in eternity.
Wisdom is eternally beneficial (Prov. 8:32-36). Men can be rather obstinate and arrogant creatures. Many would rather be wrong in their ignorance than right by way of instruction, and that shows just how unwise they are. God has provided His wisdom for our benefit, but we must humble ourselves enough to acknowledge what we do not understand so that we may learn what we need to know desperately. Once we recognize that we need wisdom for every decision we make and every step we take, we will seek it out, because we appreciate what is at stake is not honor or reputation but life itself. Declining wisdom ensures a life of constant frustration, followed by a consistent attempt to justify an already bad decision. It helps no one, and destroys the opportunity to embrace life with its divine purpose, leaving only death in its wake.
The way governments around the world respond to a crisis provides a learning opportunity for all. Some value their reputation and power over the lives of their citizens. Some operate out of complete fear and panic. Others struggle to maintain a balance for the long term benefit and good of all. These are also the reactions of people in every day to every day problems in life. And they prove just how much we need God’s wisdom in our lives.