Welcome to our first episode in Season 3. We are focusing on Proverbs and Parables this season, with a mini middle section around Easter. Join Nicole and Sharon as they discuss wisdom together. What exactly is wisdom? How does it differ from knowledge? And ... why should we want wisdom above all else?
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome friend. It’s time to hit pause on your busy day and enjoy the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Let’s ponder God’s Word together and find the encouragement we need to work well and rest well. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome to season three of the Sweet Selah moments podcast. I’m Nicole, mother of four busy and chatty little girls and a wife of an awesome husband and daddy. I am the co-host of this podcast. Today we are starting a whole new series called Proverbs and Parables. We’ll also have a special Easter segment when we get closer to that glorious time of year. We start with episode 28 Wise Up. Sharon, your turn.
Hello everyone. We are so excited for this third season together with you. I co-host with Nicole. My name is Sharon Gamble and I am in a totally different season of life. I’m mom to two married daughters and their wonderful husbands and Nina to six super cute grandchildren. And Nicole, I just got pictures of them: five by sevens on my piano in order. And when I sit and do my daily quiet times, I can pray for them and then peek and not even have my eyes closed and look at their little faces.
I love my grandchildren so much! So, okay. Anyways, we both work at Sweet Selah Ministries and this podcast is an outgrowth of our desire to help busy women take that time, to know the God who loves them dearly and in, so doing learn to love him more and more. We’re going to start our Proverbs and Parables series with a few episodes based on the book of Proverbs in the Bible. So how would you define a proverb, Nicole?
A proverb? I feel like it’s like a good word of wisdom, but since I don’t have the best definition, I looked it up at Gotquestions.org, and they said that a good definition of a Biblical proverb is a short saying that expresses a general truth for practical, godly living. The Hebrew word translated proverb comes from a root word, meaning to be like. Thus, the book of Proverbs is full of comparisons showing us how various images illustrate the fundamental truths of life. The purpose of a proverb is to present wisdom in a short, memorable format, which is really good for all of us with our busy lives. Proverbs are simple yet profound. Many deal with the commonplace yet clarify the deepest realities of life. The Bible refers to Proverbs as sayings of the wise from Proverbs 24:23 and sayings and riddles of the wise from Proverbs one six.
That’s interesting. Riddles, I hadn’t thought of that before. I guess some of them you do kind of have to puzzle out.
Yeah, they’re not all, most of them are super straightforward, but some of them are a little bit… like they have like a story to them. like, Oh, okay. I can see where that applies.
So fun. Well, I want to learn more about this because knowing things and doing them are two different animals and we can know stuff and yet not have the wisdom to apply it. And one thing I love about Proverbs is the practical.
And so I’m ready to learn. I chose the title Wise Up for today. And then I thought, does anybody say that anymore? Because when I was a little girl and we would play in the road because it was a really dead end street. There wasn’t much going on and if somebody stayed in the road, when a car was coming up, we’d yell at that somebody and say, ‘Hey, wise up!’.
Oh, that’s funny.
It was just what we said. And I’m like, you are 62, Sharon. This may not be common anymore. Do you guys say wise up nowadays?
No, my dad always said smarten up. Smarten up. So, I mean, same thing. Just different words.
Just different words but both of them from another generation. So, interesting. Well, whether we say wise up or smarten up do you have any times in your life where you needed to wise up or smarten up? Got any stories today?
We don’t have time for all of them so I’ll pick one. I definitely needed to wise up with money when I was a young adult. When I married Josh at age 21 and we put our finances together, I had to show him over 12 different credit cards to 12 different stores.
Because each store had like a special gimmick, like, hey, you save 10% when you sign up. Mind you, not all of them had balances, but enough of them did. I just had no idea how to manage money and I love to shop too. So it’s a dangerous combo.
It sure can be. And you know, the word sale sometimes …
Oh, it just draws me in.
Yeah, I know. I know.
So how about you, Sharon? What about a time in your life when you could have used a little more wisdom?
Well, my wise up came with housework. I will freely and happily confess that cleaning the house is not my deal. I would always rather be reading a book or talking to a friend or leading a Bible study. And I justified my sloppy housekeeping habits by saying, I am all about people, not about things. And I felt quite noble with that kind of an attitude, although it was really just a justification. Until one day, God gently pointed out to me that Ray who loves order is a people and therefore housework ought to be important to me because the most important person in my life couldn’t sit down in his own living room without moving stuff. And that began to be a conviction for me that I needed to wise up about housework. And no, I don’t need to obsess over it and like dust everything every day. But at the same time to have a home for Ray where, when he at least comes to the living room, he can sit and not feel bombarded with clutter. It really made a huge difference for him. And I’m sorry it took me a while to realize that they weren’t just things. They were things that in their place made it more easy for Ray to relax. Right? So that’s one of mine. Of many. Like you. I have lots of examples.
Well, I get it. It’s so hard. Especially for us people-persons, Sharon. I would much rather spend my day with people than doing laundry, so.
But like you, I have found that in my own, wising up that if I take the time to organize and clean first, it makes it easier to clean fairly quickly now because everything has a place. And now we can enjoy time with our friends and our poor family can come home to a house that is not overwhelming in its disorder.
I love it.
There’s a balance to it.
There is. Well, this week we are going to start with the most obvious theme that not only runs through the book of Proverbs, but it sort of is the book of Proverbs. We’re going to talk about wisdom today. Oh, how we need wisdom to navigate our lives.
And wisdom is a little tricky to define. A good working definition that I found @biblestudytools.com says, wisdom is the appropriate application of knowledge.
Oh, I like that one.
I do too. Mary has the cutest mug in her kitchen and it says this on it. Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
That is so perfect. I want that mug.
I know it. So we can know things intellectually and yet not know how to utilize those facts in navigating through life. So I can know, for example, that going to bed early will make life better.
But I’m only wise if I do it.
You know, we have to…wisdom is sort of knowledge applied in a lot of ways. Wisdom is a gift from God too and according to James 1:5, if you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. Solomon, the author of many of the Proverbs we’ll be reading, asked for wisdom and God graciously gave it to him. But he made a conscious choice later on in his life to walk away from it. And it just makes me so sad because he knew it and he had the wisdom, but it almost became knowledge again for him because it wasn’t applied.
He married all these women. Silly idea. And a lot of them worshiped other gods and led him astray. So, but what he put down and recorded for us in Proverbs is wise. We just need to apply it. So, when we’re reading the Proverbs, we’re getting tools that help us live well. And today I have found four specific wisdom themes in the book of Proverbs that will help us be wiser. So we’re going to study them and then chat about them. Every time we read the Bible, we call it a Sweet Selah moment because it’s not just our words that stumble and bumble. They’re God’s true words. The living God speaks them. It’s the best part of every podcast. So Nicole and I are going to take turns, sharing a wisdom theme, read the verses that relate and then discuss them. Are you ready to wise up?
Let’s go! Nicole, you go first with the first theme.
All right. Theme one: wisdom is a gift from God. Proverbs two verse six says “For the Lord grants wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 3:13 says, “joyful is a person who finds wisdom. The one who gains understanding.” Proverbs 24:14 says, “In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future and your hopes will not be cut short.” Sharon, this is such a great entry into why wisdom is so wonderful. Look at the promises in just these three verses if we listen to God’s wisdom. Right here, joy, understanding, sweetness to our soul and a bright future and hope that will not be cut short. Wisdom truly is a multilayered gift from God. It affects so much of our life and it can truly bless all those areas too.
It sure can. And just the fact that it brings joy warms my heart because it does. When we make foolish decisions like staying up till 1:00 AM and then getting up at six because we have to, over and over, there is very little joy in that.
But when we’re wise and we do the things that are right, there is a joy in it because we haven’t worn ourselves out or we don’t have to dig out of silly mistakes that we’ve dug ourselves into. So yay. Wisdom is a gift and it’s joyous. That’s theme one. Alright, theme two. Wise people listen to instruction. Okay. Proverbs 10:8 – “The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.” Proverbs 13:1 – ” A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline. A mocker refuses to listen to correction.” Proverbs 13:10: “Pride leads to conflict. Those who take advice are wise.” Proverbs 11:2 – ” Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” And Proverbs 15:33: “Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom, humility precedes honor.”
Yeah, I think the key here is that pride too often stops us from listening to people. We think we know it all.
And if we would just humble ourselves and listen, I found myself in this the other day. Someone was trying to share something with me and before they could get their thought out about how I could do something better, I was defending myself instead of keeping my little mouth shut and hearing what they had to say.
And I can remember that back in the days when there used to be maps and we didn’t have lovely GPS, that just told us where to go. I know Ray and I, we really had map dilemmas. In fact, some of our more severe discussions occurred during map reading, mostly because I couldn’t read a map to save my life. So Ray would be driving the car and I can remember this. We were in Maryland and we’re driving along and I am studying this map. And Ray’s like, where’s the turn? Where’s the turn. And I said, left, turn left now. Ray, turn left. You know, and Ray looks left and it’s a body of water.
You know, like a Lake.
And he’s like, I don’t think it’s left, and I’m not looking up. I’m like, Ray, it’s left. You need to listen to me. So anyways, I had the map upside down.
Yes, right. So, I turned it the right way. He needed to take a right and of course we missed the turn because of it. So did I listen to him when he was trying to explain to me that I was wrong? No, I just was so determined to go my own way. So, but wise people listen to instruction and we do it with a humble heart. It is okay to be wrong. That is something that took me so long to learn Nicole. Somehow, you know, the straight A student in me felt that if I got something wrong, I was a failure instead of I was a learner. And if you can think of it that way, I’m a learner. And I want to learn. Then all of a sudden hearing instruction is less of a humiliation.
It’s just a humbleness.
So, okay, theme one. Wisdom is a gift from God. It’s a joyous thing. Theme two. Wise people actually listen to instruction. Your turn.
On to theme three. Wise people control their anger.
Proverbs 14:29: “People with understanding control their anger. A hot temper shows great foolishness.” Proverbs 19:11: “Sensible people control their temper. They earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 29:8 “Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger.” Well, Sharon, I think God gave me this section on purpose. Oh, it’s such a horrible, awful feeling to lose control of a temper. And don’t we look so silly when we do it?
We really do look like fools. It never accomplishes what we want when we are yelling or angry in a selfish way. Every time I get frustrated and lose my temper with my kids, it never makes them obey. It just creates this angry little pod in our house.
It never works. It only makes things worse. Just look at this last verse though. It’s interesting. A mocker can get a whole town agitated and boy haven’t we seen a lot of that in our world lately.
Yes, yes. Over and over.
I feel like that’s a very common thread. So I definitely want to be more like that sensible person. I want people to respect me, like in the second verse, and not to be worried that I’m going to blow up at every little thing that they might say or do wrong.
They respect my overlooking wrong. So people aren’t going to like being around me, if I’m always picking and blowing up at their wrongs or whatever.
No, you don’t want to be the kind of person and neither do I, where people tippy toe around you because they might quote, set you off.
I want to be a safe place. And a safe place is with a person who controls her anger and is just loving.
And that’s what I want. I used to think of that when Ray would come home from work. I want him to want to be home.
And sometimes I’d be really crabby by the time he got home because I’d had a whole day of dealing with kids and stuff, and I think now, ‘Sharon, do you want him to love being in the house or do you want him to find excuses not to be home?’.
And the same for my children. Do I want my children to find excuses not to visit me because I’m crabby all the time? No.
A great question.
So yeah. So wise people control their anger and they don’t get people agitated. And agitation, that thing about the whole town, it makes me think of mobs.
You know how you can rev up a mob and foolish people if they feel the anger and there’s somebody to kind of be mad at so they don’t have to be mad at themselves?
The bully comes out in them and anger can lead to bullying very, very easily. And also exaggeration, and so many things.
It’s a dangerous place to be.
So let’s just control our anger.
That sounds wise. All right, Theme four: Wise people highly value wisdom. It’s a high value for them. It’s something that they’re going to seek. So Proverbs 4:6-7 says this: “Don’t turn your back on wisdom for, she will protect you. Love her and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do. And whatever else you do develop good judgment.” Proverbs 16:16 says: “How much better to get wisdom than gold and good judgment then silver.” Proverbs 9:10 says: “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom, knowledge of the Holy one results in good judgment.” Wisdom is way better than making money. Wisdom is way better than selfishly going our own way. It is to be highly valued. And I need that when my stubborn self wants to do something that isn’t wise, I need to remember that I will regret it. If I have three helpings of pie this Thanksgiving and get on the scale the next day…? And I want to do the wise thing because in the end, it’s the best thing.
Yes, absolutely it is.
So we have got to absolutely pursue it and value it and study it and know it. So Ray used to say to me, when I would be impulsive about something, ‘If you’re in doubt about a decision, wait’. And I’d be like, I don’t like waiting.
It’s so hard to wait.
I don’t like being in this place of indecision, I want to know now.
But, if I’m going to value wisdom highly what I want to do more than anything is say, ‘What’s wise?’ And that often actually means stopping and listening to the Lord.
Which is probably in the developing good judgement part.
It most likely is.
Because in the waiting and the sitting and the listening to God is where we gain the wisdom.
And the good judgment.
Right. Instead of just jumping. God, give me wisdom as I’m deciding this right now.
Yes, because I just don’t want to wait for it.
That impulsiveness can get us into so much trouble.
It really can. And it shows a lack of value for wisdom, because if we really want the wise decision we’re willing to wait. And so many things that I think I can’t wait on because I don’t want to wait on them. I can wait. I need to wait. I need to wait until my emotions aren’t telling me what to do. Until my anger isn’t telling me what to do. Until my fear isn’t telling me what to do. I need to wait until I’ve heard from God and what is wise.
That’s a good point.
So we need to just be pursuing wisdom, like crazy. When in doubt, wait.
I like that.
So we’re going to wise up. I can remember, Nicole, when Kathryn and Mary were getting…(you’re going to see this too I guarantee you, it’s a mother thing) Kathryn and Mary were getting ready to leave, to go to college. With both of them, one at a time, I’d be like, wait, wait, I haven’t told you enough yet. I have so many more pearls of wisdom to tell you. And at that point in their lives they were like, ‘you have told us
Yeah, we’re good and let us go.
We are so good. And I’m like, you know, running after them practically. Did I tell you this fact? So many times I wanted to say more and yet I had said a lot. We do instill wisdom in our children just by living out our lives. It’s not just in the teaching. It’s in the way we live.
And simply by having a quiet time every day, my girls saw that God was important to me. Just seeing that little bit. The fact that I was in Moms in Prayer helped because I’d say to them, it’s your week for prayer. How can I pray for you?
I love that.
And they started coming to me and saying, ‘Would you pray for me’? So lifestyle does it too. And then we did devotions with them. I would do devotions in the morning with them. And then Ray always did devotions at suppertime. Ray is just so unique. I have to say this. He just is, he’s such a professor type. So I would say to him, you know, what would you like to read to the children? And I’d give him all these age appropriate books that would be devotional. And he’d say things like, no joke, ‘I think I’d like to read Pilgrim’s Progress’. And I’m like, Oh, by John Bunyan, they’re nine and seven.
Right (and laughing).
Are you kidding me?
Let’s ease into that one.
Oh, no, no, no. And in the 17th century language.
Oh my goodness.
And not even updated. Ray would sit at the table and read. And so night after night, he’d say, ‘All right, girls, where did we leave off?’ And one of them would say, ‘We were in the middle of another discourse, Dad.’ So their vocabulary is astounding.
Oh, I bet.
Yes. And then he read them the Screwtape Letters.
At maybe 11 and nine, you know? But we had fascinating discussions about it.
So in our home Ray definitely taught up to them.
Even when they were babies, he’s not a baby talk man.
I can’t imagine him as a baby talk man.
He’s like, when are they going to talk in complete sentences so we can discuss theology you know?. So, and then later on, I taught them the Four R method that we practice at Sweet Selah Ministries.
Oh, that’s great. Yeah.
And so as teenagers they would fill in their little journals and, you know, show me the verse of the day and we’d discuss that. And then later still when Mary would come home from college in the summer, we would do Bible study together.
Oh, I love that.
Oh, it was so good, I hope you get to do that with your girls. It’s really neat. What I had to do though, because I’d kind of overplayed the ‘I’m in charge card’ when they were younger, Mary had to be in charge of the Bible study because,
I just annoyed her. At that age in her life she’s like, you have told me what to do for so many years.
So, but I was desperate to do Bible study with her. I really wanted to. And so the way we did it was she would choose the book. She would choose the method and I would follow her lead at that point. But we dug into some really tough stuff. We looked at women in the Bible one summer, the whole summer, and we learned so much together. So, so those are some of the ways that I tried to give wisdom to my girls.
And then of course I wrote books and now I’m like, here, just read my book.
Right. Just read this.
So, but how about you? You’re in a different stage. How are you imparting wise up wisdom to your girls?
Well, it’s funny. Just the living it is a big thing. I do my quiet time in the morning now, too. And honestly this past week, I’ve had three different little ones next to me with their Bibles, open up reading now on their own. And it just, it makes me just like, well up when I’m sitting there and they’re like, Oh, I’m reading Revelations. I’m like, Oh, that’s, that’s heavy for the morning, Ellie. And what does this verse mean? And I’m like, let’s address that later after my second cup of coffee, but it’s been so sweet to see them each kind of seeing me do that and then trying to kind of mimic it, you know?
So that’s been really neat. And then Josh does, we do family devotions at dinner also, but thankfully we have the Adventures in Odyssey family devotion little book and it’s short and sweet and the kids love it. They’re super silly with dad and I, and we’ve been doing that after dinner. And just when I was reading through Proverbs on my own, I would just kind of read to the girls in the morning and we talk about it and then we’d pick something like, okay, today let’s work on our tempers and we try to remind each other to work on it.
Oh, that’s a good idea. One thing at a time.
Yeah. And they’re really good at pointing out things Mama does wrong. So, talk about four little consciences. Mommy, are you angry? No, I’m not angry.
Breathing deeply letting it out. They are, children really can highlight one’s faults.
Oh, they see so much.
And they’re not even teenagers yet.
I know! It’s only going to get better.
But that’s where the humble part comes in. If we can humbly learn from our kids, iron sharpens iron, and we can learn, they see us at our worst.
Well, and they see a real life example of sanctification. Oh, mommy just messed up again. 20 minutes after reading about anger, watch me ask God to forgive me and I’ll try again. So I think it just sets that, cause you know, being eldest and perfectionist sometimes I want perfection and to be able to show them like, I’m not getting there on my own. I need God’s help.
I think that is so helpful because they’re going to be adults someday. And surprisingly, they’ll still get angry too. You know? And if we show kind of a false front to our children, I think when they get older, they’re going to feel like they failed because they can’t maintain. But if they see reality, which is that all our lives, we struggle between that sin nature.
And the Holy spirit within us telling us the wise thing to do.
And they will too. But always we come quickly to repentance and then back to doing the right thing again, that’s that is modeling practically what wisdom is.
So, Oh my. And now I’m working on my grandchildren.
I’m so excited for you.
And just sharing things with them. And one of the wonderful things I give them because they don’t live near me is my prayers and praying for them. I have a special Bible verse for each of them. And in rotation, one a day, I pray that special Bible verse for them and really dig deep into praying for their character to grow.
Oh that’s so sweet.
So, even though I’m not close anymore, I’m still touching them through my prayers and it feels so good.
That’s so precious.
Well, I am so excited to dig into the riches of the Proverbs of the next few weeks. I have a feeling, I will have some moments of clarity just where I need them, because God’s like that. His word is living and active and he teaches. And you and I probably learn the most as we’re doing these podcasts as we dig in and we’re like, Oh my goodness, another lesson right here.
So well enough for today. Let me pray for all of us to wise up. Oh Father, thank you for your rich, rich word. Thank you for the urging in it to value wisdom highly and Father, fearing and knowing you is the beginning of it all. And we happily acknowledge that. Help us to know you better. Help us to study your word and apply it to our lives day by day by day. And Lord use us in the lives of others in sharing the good, the bad and the ugly and how we can come to you with all of it. In Jesus name. Amen.
Amen. Well, friends, do you feel a little bit wiser? We hope so. James 1:5, the verse we started with is a great one to remember. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. So as we face various struggles this week and we will, let’s ask our generous God to give us the wisdom, to know what to do. We love hearing from you. So if you have a wisdom story or comment or question, you can reach out to us @sweetselah.org/podcast. If you wish to help defray the cost of this podcast, you can donate at sweetselah.org/donations. We are so glad you listen in each week. We pray that each time you do, God will give you a nugget or two to ponder upon for the week. May he help us all be wiser. Come back next Tuesday for episode 29, Don’t Be Foolish. Can’t wait to learn more with you then.
Speaker 1 (28:22):
We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah ministries. More information about this podcast can be found @sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.
You can download and print the transcript here.