Read an ExcerptChoose Steer Wide of Total Stupidity
By Kevin Johnson Zondervan Copyright © 2007 Kevin Johnson
All right reserved.
Chapter One THE BODY-SIZED BLENDER
Wanting God's wisdom
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
-> START You scramble over a barbed-wire fence emblazoned with a giant Keep Out sign, bolt past airport security, and crawl across a runway. Then you ignore the simple yet bold warning on the side of the plane a sticker that maps the zone of death in front of the jet engines, where those roaring turbines suck in anything nearby. You thought the best way to understand a jet engine would be to get an up-close look. Now you're about to get an up-close exam, all right. Like touring the inside of a body-sized blender.
How do you usually respond to rules about what you should do, or warnings and cautions telling you not to do something?
-> READ Proverbs 2:1-8
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding- 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
-> THINK God's wisdom is what keeps you from hitting the big fan of life. But God doesn't force you to obey. Instead, he insists on engaging your mind and your heart in making smart choices. At the start of this passage, there are several "ifs" that involve you. Find them. Circle them. (If you count all the phrases in the first four verses, then you should discover eight altogether.)
All those "ifs" sound like a lot of work. But what do you get if you search hard for wisdom? Jot down several of the payoffs listed in verses 5-8. Circle two that sound the best to you. Why do those sound so good?
"The fear of the Lord," by the way, is the healthy respect you should rightly have for God, the one true King of the universe. And the knowledge you get from God is nothing less than the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, life-changing insight you'd expect from the One who is not only all-powerful, but also all-knowing and all-kind. Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord [or "respect for the Lord"] is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
-> LIVE When have you been helped by a warning-from a friend, a parent, a teacher, or even a stranger?
Do you think God shares his wisdom in order to ruin your life-or to make it wildly enjoyable? Why do you think that?
How important is it to you to get God's smarts? Explain.
-> WRAP The Bible is packed with wisdom that's even better than an oversized sticker that keeps you from getting sucked into a spinning turbine. It's know-how that can help you stay close to God and steer clear of the stupidity of sin. What you need from the start, however, are good reasons and a great desire to get God's help. It's how you jump into the good life he intends for you.
>> MORE THOUGHTS TO MULL
* What's the dumbest thing you've ever been spared from doing because someone got involved and pointed you to something smarter?
* Life is full of don't-run-with-scissors rules. What kinds of rules-maybe good, maybe pointless-drive you nuts?
* Ask an adult, "Who was the smartest person you ever knew?" Follow up with these queries: "What kind of intelligence did he or she have?" and "How did those smarts make a positive difference for that person or for others?"
>> MORE SCRIPTURES TO DIG
* Keep going and read three more verses, Proverbs 2:9-11: "Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." Honestly, how helpful do you think God's wisdom is to you? How does it lead you into "every good path"? How is it "pleasant"? How might it "protect you"?
* If you have any doubt about whether God has the best in mind for you in all that he tells you to do or not do, ponder these two Bible verses. God once spoke through the prophet Jeremiah and said, "I know the plans I have for you ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus took the same basic idea and phrased it this way: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
* Read Proverbs 1 for a bunch more reasons why God's wisdom is what you want to get.
Excerpted from Choose by Kevin Johnson Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Johnson. Excerpted by permission.
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