When don’t we pray for deep wisdom?

Is there ever a day when you don’t need to be on your knees crying out to the Lord for wisdom?  Here’s a situation from my recent travels where I felt a great need for wisdom as I tried to take in and process what I was hearing…

On my 10-day trip to Israel in late August among the fascinating people I met was Sheikh Imad al-Falouji. A former Palestinian Authority Minister of Information, and a founder of a wing of Hamas responsible for suicide-bombings and other violent acts, the Sheikh changed his ways in the early 1990s while in prison, parted company with Hamas in 1996 and began working for peace. He is a devote Muslim who started an organization that works for peace with Muslims, Jews and Christians. He said, "You are a son of Adam. I am a son of Adam. Let's work for peace."

On my 10-day trip to Israel in late August, among the fascinating people I met was Sheikh Imad al-Falouji. A former Palestinian Authority Minister of Information, and a founder of a wing of Hamas responsible for suicide-bombings and other violent acts, the Sheikh changed his ways in the early 1990s while in prison.  He then parted company with Hamas in 1996 and sometime thereafter began working for peace. To this day he is a devote Muslim who eventually began an organization that works for peace with Muslims, Jews and Christians. One of his striking statements was, “You are a son of Adam. I am a son of Adam. Let’s seek wisdom and work for peace.”

Pondering my constant need for wisdom, I read some thoughtful words from my physics professor friend John Stanford, who along with his wife Win, recently wrote about the deep need for constant discernment.  

They did this by considering 2 proverbs — side-by-side; one verse after the other — whose juxtaposition seems confusing at first but really isn’t if you stop to think about it.   

Two side-by-side statements in Proverbs 26.4-5 seem contradictory:

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.” (v4)

“Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” (v5)

The seeming contradiction points out that some situations require special discernment. One answer doesn’t “fit all”.

It is a waste of time to give good advice to someone who has no intention of listening. “Don’t throw your pearls before swine,” Jesus said.

Conversely, there are times I need to be willing to speak with someone who might listen and turn from arrogance.

Holy Spirit, I humbly ask for wisdom and discernment when I encounter these human relational “mine-fields”. So that You may be more respected. Amen

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