of discretion and risk-taking

I am meditating on Scripture with a special focus on Proverbs this month, one chapter per day through the month of November. Today is chapter two, which begins:

2:1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (NIV).

I especially appreciate verses 9-11, which say,

9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair– every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

In order for me to take the risks which God requires of me, I must first seek his wisdom to such a degree that I am infused with the discretion and understanding that proceeds from his perspective. A tall order, to be sure, never fully realized this side of eternity, but experienced in proportion to the degree that God grants it and I am obedient to receive it.

Much is being made in church and children’s ministry leadership writing about risk-taking. However, I am concerned that it is being made glamorous with a notable deficit of wisdom from God. Too often, it is about human creativity and ingenuity. Important factors, yes. But apart from God’s wisdom, they lead to degrees of disobedience, even within the cloak of perceived righteousness. God’s wisdom discerns the hearts of people, cutting through the babbling and human sophistication to lay open the truth.

And so I pray this morning….

Father, I lay my heart open before you. My motives. The truth of who I am. My passions. I place my life in your hands. I place my past, my present, and my future in your care. I can think of no greater risk to my need for being in control. I can think of no greater source of safety, than to rely fully on the grace and mercy of my Judge and Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ. Where it hurts, you will heal. Where there is confusion, you will grant clarity. Where there are wrong feelings and thinking, you will give wisdom for that and much more to the proportion of my submission and obedience to your instruction.

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