6 What we say is wisdom to people who are mature. It isn’t a wisdom that comes from the present day or from today’s leaders who are being reduced to nothing. 7 We talk about God’s wisdom, which has been hidden as a secret. God determined this wisdom in advance, before time began, for our glory. 8 It is a wisdom that none of the present-day rulers have understood, because if they did understand it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 9 But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being. 10 God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, including the depths of God. 11 Who knows a person’s depths except their own spirit that lives in them? In the same way, no one has known the depths of God except God’s Spirit.
There is conventional wisdom – which really isn’t wisdom at all. It’s just what people know, or think they know. Much of it is just plain false. How many of us still believe that when birds eat dry grains of rice, their stomachs explode? (They don’t.)
Then there is wisdom from books – which definitely can be helpful, if properly applied. However, we’ve all seen this happen: the newly-minted B.S., M.B.A., Ed.D., or M.Div. shows up and tries to apply all the book knowledge they got in school, only to meet a ton of resistance and pushback because the system was entirely unprepared for the changes.
Finally, there is the wisdom from the Spirit – which is for the mature.
Often the immature leader will keep working out of the books, banging his or her head against the wall, convinced that the problem is the people around them who don’t want to change. But let’s be real: more often than not, the problem is us. We don’t want to change.
The mature aren’t cocky like that. They aren’t incapable of learning and adjusting their approach. They aren’t incapable of admitting their flaws. They aren’t struggling to admit, “I don’t know.”
Our need for the Spirit of God is our admission that we don’t know God. We can’t possibly learn everything there is to know about God from any book – even the Bible. Lots of people know their Bibles cover to cover and still aren’t all that much like Jesus. That’s why we need wisdom from someplace deeper: God’s own heart.
Jesus promises that the Spirit will make a home in those who believe (John 14:23). The Spirit, whom 1 Corinthians says knows everything about God, even the depths of God’s heart, promises to live in us.
This is more than just book wisdom. This is the kind of mature wisdom that transforms us from the inside out. It isn’t the wisdom of words that flow from the book to our brain and then out our mouths, changing nothing about us in the process. Instead, it’s the wisdom the flows from the depths of our hearts, through our souls, and into the world all around us. It changes everything about us. It grows us to maturity, to the standard of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you ever met someone whose maturity and humility of spirit shone forth in everything they did? How did people respond to them? How did knowing them change you?
Prayer: God, today we plead for your Spirit. We pray that we might find in you the maturity we seek: the ability to grow and change without being threatened by the process. We pray that we might grow into the likeness and image of the one we follow, Jesus the Christ. Amen.