For the last month or so I’ve been slowly reading through the Book of Proverbs. My goal is to seek God’s wisdom. With all the chaos going on right now in our world today, I really feel the need for God’s wisdom. The need for wisdom to make good decisions. The need for wisdom to guide me through the chaos. As I seek God’s wisdom, I’ve noticed something interesting. Righteousness comes along side of wisdom.
Now this is interesting to me. Why? If you seek wisdom are you also seeking righteousness? If you are righteous are you also wise? Or are they complimentary to one another, each helping the other out. That is, if you are wise, you seek to be righteous and if you are righteous you seek to be wise.
As I pondered this, something struck me from Proverbs
“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” Proverbs 29:7
And right before that:
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice” Proverbs 29:2
And around all this, the author of Proverbs speaks about being wise in so many different ways. The wisdom of the king, the wisdom of a son, the wisdom of one who goes to court. Wisdom and righteousness somehow go together. As I have been reading through Proverbs, I’ve noticed this over and over again. Wisdom and righteousness go together. They walk together as one desires wisdom one desires to be righteous. But what does that mean?
In his book, All the Places to Go, John Ortberg talks about how wisdom is making good decisions while surrounding oneself with wise counsel—people who can speak into your life. An old professor of mine from seminary said that wisdom was age plus experience. But I’ve never thought of wisdom and righteousness coming together.
I’m starting to get wisdom…well, not get it but understand what it is. It’s more than Yoda talking to Luke (geeky reference) but it’s also the same thing. Wisdom has to be untangled and thought through. The Book of Proverbs speaks volumes about wisdom. And it speaks about how to gain wisdom. It even goes so far as saying spend all your money obtaining wisdom (Proverbs 4:7). But it doesn’t say how wisdom and righteousness come together.
As I’ve been pondering and reflecting on this, I wondered what Paul would say. He wrote most of the New Testament. He was a Pharisee turned Jesus-Follower. He knew his scripture in and out. Doing a quick word search on one of my apps, I came across a slew of references to God’s righteousness found in Romans alone.
“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is give through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21-22
“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourself to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13
Then I read 1 Corinthians
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom from God—that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
Dude! Wow! The righteousness of Christ is linked to the wisdom of God.
Through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are made righteous. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s wisdom. The beginning of John’s Gospel says this in fact (John 1:1-5).
So if God’s wisdom is connected to Christ’s righteousness, my quest for God’s wisdom in my life in the midst of this COVID chaos is to seek Christ as well.
So my quest for wisdom continues. But now I know that in seeking out God’s wisdom, I need to seek out Christ’s righteousness. They are complimentary to one another. They work together because they are part of the same person. They are both part of Christ. And through Christ I can have both. Through Christ I can live both righteousness and wisdom.
Now here’s the kicker for me I think: Both are available right away. Both can be obtained right away. But it takes time to grow into it. It’s complex, I know but it’s important to realize it. Christ is here now by the power of the Holy Spirit. And by the power of the Holy Spirit living in me by the power of Christ, I’m able to have both wisdom and righteousness.
Now I just have to figure out how to live it out.