So far we have only introduced a couple types of wisdom. Clearly you can be wise and unwise at the same time. Which leads us to the final aspects of wisdom.
In my last post I talked about planning well and persuasively presenting your plan. But that alone will not guarantee the outcome you want. So let’s press on.
3. You also need philosophical wisdom. This is not the Greek idea which was often simply theory. That sort of wisdom is all bark and no bite. Here I am using the term to describe the ability to think clearly, concisely, and concretely. That will come before the type of behavior that will honor God. True wisdom is knowing and doing. Of course, our thoughts should line up with biblical teaching. Too often someone will voice an opinion and say, “Well, I don’t have a verse to substantiate my belief….” Let’s be honest. That may be an indication that it is not true wisdom.
So why did Absalom side step Ahitholphel’s effective plan and turn to Hushai’s plan? Absalom lacked number 4.
4. Perceptive wisdom is similar and also desperately needed. When the woman shared her story, as persuasive as she was, David soon smelled something fishy. His perception was right on target. However, not long after that when Absalom came and feigned spirituality, David lacked the perceptive wisdom to smell disloyalty in the air (2 Samuel 15:9). Granted, whenever someone plays the God-card, it can be very difficult to argue with them. But this only underscores the need for prayer.
What if Absalom had this? He would have gone with Ahitholphel’s superior plan and not lost his life as a result of his poor decision.
5. Most of us on a daily basis need practical wisdom. During the day some of us are not the best at execution. We plan well, but at the end of the day we fail to get stuff done. We’ve all had wasted days. Which means we could all use a little more practical wisdom and thereby have more productive days.
6. Last, but not least, is proactive wisdom. David seems to have lacked this at times. As proactive as he was on many occasions, often it was his lack of proactivity that cost him greatly. Sometimes he, like us, failed to act. Absalom was recalled home, but for two years the king never went to see him. That proved to be unwise.
7. At this point I would like to talk about a seventh type of wisdom that has more of a wide angle view. It is panoramic wisdom. It may seem a little redundant; however, it does underscore our often limited view of what wisdom actually entails.
For instance, on my phone I have the ability to take a panoramic photo. That is, I can take a picture that will take in the entire scene rather than just a part of the scene. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a very wide angle or inclusive photo. After all, if it involves a group of people, who wants to get left out? The same is true with wisdom. Which aspect of wisdom do we really want to dispose of?
Wisdom involves a host of virtues like knowledge, insight, understanding, learning, and discretion. Wouldn’t you agree that we should be praying for all of those? Also, because it’s often hard to possess all the wisdom you need, it is helpful to seek the counsel and advice of others. David did, and Absalom did.
Within these chapters you will find a mixture of wisdom and a lack of wisdom. Isn’t it amazing how we can be so wise and yet unwise all at once?
Full of wisdom, yet devoid of wisdom?
Which underscores the need to pray for wisdom.
What kind of wisdom are you praying for today?