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Thursday, May 14, 2009


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
--Reinhold Niebuhr
I found this prayer in a set of stationery many years ago and cut it out. It was taped where I could see it every day. I don't have that little paper any more, but it continues to be something that I think of from time to time. Until yesterday, as I was looking for the origin of the prayer, I had no idea that it is really much longer than what I have listed above.

The key to this prayer, in my opinion, is found in the last part - "wisdom". It takes wisdom to know what we should just accept or what we should have the courage to try and change. Where does wisdom come from? Some of us may be wise - we were knitted together in that way. Others of us may not be so wise. Some wisdom comes from learning through academics or learning a specific trade. But the kind of wisdom we should desire can be found through reading God's Word. We should desire this type of wisdom, which comes from heaven.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

It starts with fear - but not a scared fear. A Christian's fear is one that realizes that God is in control of the entire universe, and we should worship Him in reverence, and in awe, and in total submission. For those who have not yet become a child of God this fear is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. Psalm 111:10

If we find we are lacking in the kind of heavenly wisdom we desire to have, God encourages us with these verses: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him," James 1:5. But, this promise has a string attached to it, as we can see in verse 6: "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

I don't know about you, but I need to be asking God for wisdom every day!

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

This is what we've been teaching in Journeyland on Sundays! They love Solomon and the split baby story!

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