Thursday, December 14, 2006

Intentional Wisdom

In the book Craftsmen author John Crotts makes a strong point, “You will never accidentally run a marathon. You will never just happen to become a doctor. In the same way, you will never accidentally become wise.” (p 142)

A runner trains for months, even years, to run a marathon. A person studies years to become a doctor, logging many hours in libraries, labs, and hospitals. For both the runner and the student, the future goal drives the current behavior. Decision after decision is shaped by what is best to accomplish the goal.

The pursuit of wisdom is similar. It requires a young person to be very intentional. No one stumbles into becoming wise. No one accidentally loses his folly and gains wisdom. No one simply wakes up wise one day. To grow in wisdom we must intentionally pursue it.

It starts with a healthy fear of the Lord. We need to know who God is and how he acts and stand in reverential awe of him. We are to understand his all-knowing and all-powerful ways and live with a fear of him. We are to know his unchanging nature and his sovereign control over all and stand in awe of him. This is the essential first stage of growing in wisdom and requires us to study the attributes of God and think carefully about who he is.

We need to study the Word of God and conform our lives to God’s standards. This requires faithful reading and studying of scripture with the goal of applying it to our lives today. “How does this apply to me right now?” should be the question on our minds as we read. This is intentional growth in wisdom.

We need others – the many godly individuals around us. We need the advice and wisdom of our parents for us to grow in wisdom ourselves. We need the example of godly pastors, teachers, and coaches to help us understand how to live in a way that is pleasing to God. We need to intentionally ask others about their convictions and seek to grow in wisdom ourselves. When we hang out with the wise we will become wiser ourselves. This is intentional growth in wisdom.

What can you do to day to grow in wisdom?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Being a Christian Student

If you are in middle school, high school, or college, God has called you to be a student. This is your main “job” in this season of your life.

What are the essential qualities of a Christian student?

Here are a few thoughts:

1. Humility – As a student, you are under authority and learn from your teachers. To learn you have to acknowledge your ignorance of a topic or principle and listen carefully. Humility helps you learn from your mistakes, ask questions when you do not understand, and pursue help when confused. Humility prompts you to study because you do not assume you have mastered all the material the first time.

2. Perseverance – The school year is more like a marathon than a sprint. It requires you to work hard day after day, night after night. Perseverance enables you to be diligent over the long run and to pace yourself throughout the year. It helps you work hard and do your part as you trust God for help.

3. Faithfulness – Faithfulness means doing your best in the time that you have. Is God more pleased with an A or a B? Neither, God measures our faithfulness. Do we come prepared for class, do we listen carefully and take good notes, do we review our notes and study, do we seek to understand the concepts and not just get the homework done, do we keep track of all the details and stay organized. These all relate to faithfulness.

4. Long-term thinking – Christians need to be always thinking about God’s will for their lives. Students need to see today as a chance to prepare for the future calling God has for them. Learning isn’t just for today. It will affect us as husbands & fathers, wives & mothers, members of our local church, and our influence in the workplace & our neighborhood. We are to be stewards of the gifts God has entrusted to us.

These are just four qualities that come to my mind. What are some that come to your’s?