Wisdom is the ability to use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. It is not merely a matter of information or knowledge, but of skillful and practical application of the truth to the ordinary facets of life. Consider the implications of Solomon’s request for wisdom in 1 Kings 3:3-14:
Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
If God approached you and offered to grant you one wish, what would it be? Your answer to this question is one of the most telling things about you; it illuminates your value system.
Instead of asking for a long life or wealth or power, Solomon pleased the Lord by requesting a discerning heart of wisdom. Because he focused on this, the Lord also granted him what he did not request. This is an illustration of the truth of Jesus’ words concerning the one thing most needful for leaders today: to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). When we pursue first things first, the second things are thrown in; when we pursue second things first, we not only miss out on the first things, but we also miss the fullness of the second things.
Wisdom is skill in the art of living with each facet of life under God’s dominion. This wisdom differs greatly from the wisdom of the world (James 3:14-17). The wisdom of Christ is very different from the wisdom of this world; do not confuse the two.
Consider reading the book of Proverbs at the rate of one chapter per day for thirty-one days. As you do, ask God for the qualities celebrated in this marvelous book: wisdom, prudence, understanding, discernment, discipline, insight, knowledge, discretion, guidance, instruction, faithfulness, sound judgment, humility, justice, diligence, the fear of the Lord and a true understanding of success.
*taken from Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, by Kenneth Boa, et al.