The most notable characteristic about wisdom is its absence among our youth. In an experiment I tried with the students at our Bible college, I decided to auction off a $2o bill, with the only stipulations being a person could not bid higher than the amount of cash on hand, and I would get to keep the money bid by the two highest bidders.

When the auction began, the bids increased until a young man bid nineteen dollars for the $20 bill. The next-highest bid was eighteen dollars, so I received thirty-seven dollars for my $20 bill. The young man made a dollar out of his bid; I made seventeen. (I gave the money to our church’s mission fund.) That wasn’t a bad deal.

Fortunately, each of the students was wise enough not to bid over twenty dollars. I shared how competitiveness often causes people to lose their rationale in such auctions. Sometimes people bid over and above the value of the auctioned item just so they can win.

Wisdom is, frankly speaking, the ability to use the gray matter between our ears to make sound decisions. It may come from older people who can offer priceless advice from years of experience. It broadens with our own experiences as we learn from the consequences of good and bad decisions. Wisdom teaches us to think through each situation before we act. The good news is that it is available to all who ask God for it (James 1:5–7). Over the weekend, we will discuss the Source and significance of this “principal thing” to which Solomon referred in Proverbs.

Do you want to be a wise person? I do. Let’s begin by seeking God for it. Then we can allow wise people, along with the experiences God has allowed in our lives, to teach us the path of wisdom.

If you try these things today, you’re already on your way to becoming a wise person, because the wise first use their brains.

If you realize that you aren’t as wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you’re wiser today. – Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder