Ephesians 5:15 tells us that we should be careful how we live. We should live wisely, not unwisely. But, what exactly does it mean to live wisely? And where does the wisdom we need come from?
The book of Proverbs talks a lot about wisdom and the characteristics of a person who is wise. A person who is wise seeks to increase learning and will seek the counsel of others when necessary (Proverbs 1:5). The wise person is happy to receive instruction from others (Proverbs 10:8). Rather than live foolishly, thinking that his own way is right, the wise man listens to the opinions of others (Proverbs 12:15). Those who are wise are not quick-tempered and they keep their cool even when being insulted (Proverbs 12:16). While a foolish person may allow his anger to erupt, the wise man quietly holds back his anger (Proverbs 29:11).
Proverbs 3:13-15 says that a person who has wisdom is happy. This is because wisdom has great value, value far greater than any precious gem. But the wisdom that we need to be truly happy, the wisdom that we should seek with all our hearts, is not the wisdom of the world. The wisdom we need comes from above–from God. And that wisdom is pure, peaceable, and gentle. It is willing to yield. And it is full of mercy and bears good fruit (James 3:13-17).
To obtain this wisdom from above, we need to listen to Jesus’ teaching and then follow it. When we do, as Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-25, we are like the person who builds his house on a rock. That rock is Jesus. He is our firm foundation. When we build our house–our lives–on Him, when we have that rock as our foundation, no storm can tear it down. Now that is wisdom!