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Women Who Win

Wisdom For Women 

Wisdom is beauty for women. Women patiently sit in the Beauty Parlor and pay for it. But the Bible places emphasis elsewhere. Our beauty is not in dressing up or curling our hair. Paul advocates “propriety” for women (1 Tim 2:9-15). In this short passage propriety is mentioned twice.

Wisdom, knowledge, judgment, sobriety, propriety, sound mind, discernment, common sense, discretion and self-control are all terms used to describe various shades of wisdom. Beauty and foolishness is an awkward combination. A lovely stupid woman is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout (Prov 11:22). An ugly wise woman is a far better choice than the former. Her wit makes her an attractive personality. When we want to become wise we need to know what wisdom is. Let me put it as simple as possible. It is —

1. Discerning good from evil in a given situation

In Hebrews 5:14 we read, “Solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish (NKJV discern) good from evil” (paranthesis mine). The ability to discern comes only
by experience (constant use). Jesus “grew” in wisdom (Lk 2:52).

We can discern between black and white but the trouble is with gray zones. Daughters sometimes have difficulty deciding if their parents’ instructions are right or wrong and wives are sometimes confused if it is right to obey their husbands. This is where we need wisdom. The Bible does not give us directions for all situations. When the Bible is silent, when God is silent, we need to use our senses. That is why the Bible speaks about sound-mind and discernment in so many places.

2. Expecting the best but being prepared for the worst.

The parable of the ten virgins is a good example. The foolish ones expected everything to go smoothly as per schedule. They were not prepared for an unexpected turn of events. If you get a recurring infection, it is wisdom to take your tablets with you when you go on a trip, not lack of faith. You don’t expect to fall sick but you are prepared for it. It is wisdom to divide your money and keep in two places when you travel. You don’t expect to get robbed, but by chance if you lose one you’ll be left with the other.

How to get Wisdom

Sometimes we think wisdom is beyond our reach. It is not. If we practice certain simple principles, wisdom is ours.

a) Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7). There is no wisdom apart from Jesus Christ. Rahab’s identity in Jericho was ‘Rahab the prostitute, (Josh 2:1). But God gave her a new start. The huge walls around Jericho collapsed — except one portion — and that was Rahab’s house. Who was wiser, Rahab or the wise men of Jericho? You may ask: “What about the unbeliever scientist and the foolish believer?” You will know who was wiser in their death bed. Christ has become for us wisdom from God (1Cor 1:30).

b) Desire and Pray

Solomon desired wisdom far above rubies to the extent if anyone woke him up in sleep and asked him what he wanted, his groggy reply was, “Give me wisdom.” We should have a consuming passion for wisdom. That’s not enough. We should keep on asking God to bless us with His wisdom more than anything else (Js 1:5).

c) Be open to counsel

At any age we have people older than us, who have lived longer on this earth and have acquired wisdom by experience. They have learned a lot from life. Though normally we turn away our ears from counsel, it will do us good to calmly listen to our parents, elders or others who advise us. “My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of wisdom that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.” Otherwise at the end of your life you will be full of regrets. You will lament: How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! Why didn’t I listen to my mentors or take my teachers seriously? My life is utterly ruined (Prov 5:1,2,11-14). Yes, you will bring shame not only to yourself, but to your family and congregation as well.

d) Gather general knowledge

Women should not be frogs inside the well. Reading and travel expand our knowledge. We should not always be reading religious material. The Daily Newspaper and a few clean secular magazines can add to our knowledge.

e) Study God’s word and do it 

Read what God told the Israelites about His laws: “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all the decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” (Dt 4:6). So begin there. “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Your statutes” sang the Psalmist (119:98,99). Books give knowledge but the Bible imparts wisdom. We should not be known as, “weak- willed women, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Tim 3:6,7).

f ) Use your common sense

Pray for protection but wear your shoes when you walk through the forest. Trust in the Lord but put on your seat belt. Intercede for divine healing but take your medicines. Read the labels in bottles before using the contents. If you use old bottles label them clearly. God will not help those who do not help themselves.

g) Learn from mistakes

That is how we gain experience. Somebody said, “Fools learn from their mistakes but the wise learn from other’s mistakes.”

How to be Wise

Getting wisdom is different from being wise. Solomon had plenty of wisdom but in later life failed to put it to practice. Here are some tips for practical wisdom —

a) Be conscious of the Second coming of Christ

“You yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night ... Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation” (1Thess 5:1-8).

Both groups of virgins — the wise and the foolish — never expected any mishap in the wedding ceremony. But one group was ever-ready. The Bible speaks of two women grinding flour. One was taken up and the other left down. For the next day’s pancake we grind flour the previous night. That does not mean we don’t expect the imminent return of Christ. We must be perfect in our everyday work but be consciously aware that we are living the last minutes. Ask yourself the question, “If Jesus is coming tomorrow will I be ready?”

b) Be aware of the temporariness of life and cling on to your faith

There are good things in life and bad things too. But there are only good things in heaven and absolutely no bad things there. Let not the bad things of life threaten you. Be bold and hold on to your faith which is more precious than gold. This life is too short to be burdened with worry.

A woman had whatever she could hope for in life. But when calamity fell she lost her faith and became a fool. Guess who? Mrs. Job! (2:10). Even if your business folds, if your daughter does not get a seat in Medical or Engineering College, even if you are ravaged by a fatal disease, stand firm in your faith (Hab 3:17).

c) Don’t do anything emotionally

Women become emotional easily. They break down and cry, get angry and shout or fall in love at the drop of a hat. Learn to control your emotions in any situation and then think and act. Sobriety is translated as self-control in modern versions. Self-control is wisdom. Your uncontrolled emotions can make you a fool. One way to avoid emotional mistakes is to postpone our decision or actions. Vashti was quick to send her reply to the king. But Esther fasted, prayed, planned her move and only then acted. If we have our emotions under control there will be no need to repent later. “A quick tempered man does foolish things” (Prov 14:17). Parents do a great service to children by teaching them self-control. Preserve your purity by not giving vent to your emotions. “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Eccl 7:9). It is unbecoming of a woman to shout or scream or talk loudly. Talk softly, gently and sweetly.

d) Be Homemakers

“The wise woman builds her house but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Prov 14:1).

Women are not made to be men. So be women or else you are defeating God’s purposes. Learn cooking and house-keeping. Children don’t grow by themselves. They have to be nurtured. Otherwise they will not become plants but be weeds. A house is made by bricks but a home is built by wisdom. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Prov 24:3,4). A man may receive houses and wealth as dowry but God alone can bless him with a prudent wife (Prov 19:14). Every word you speak at home builds or breaks the family. “She speaks with wisdom” (Prov 31:26). Pour yourself into building your home rather than building house after house.

e) Win Souls

She who wins souls is wise (Prov 11:30). Paul took the opportunity to give the Goodnews to the governor Festus and King Agrippa who were to try him. On hearing the presentation Festus said: “You are out of your mind Paul. Your great learning is driving you insane.” Paul replied: “I am not insane, most excellent Festus. What I’am saying is
true and reasonable” (Acts 26:24,25). Yes, soulwinning is considered madness by the world; but it is wisdom in God’s sight. To be mad after souls is wisdom. Avoid spending your time in useless activities and spend the time visiting Hospitals or presenting a New Testament to each home in your neighbourhood. Overcome fear. Paul encouraged Timothy with the words, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power (to give the Goodnews) and of love (for the people ) and of a Sound mind. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord ...” (2 Tim 1:7,8 (NKJV). “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3). A wise woman saved a city (2 Sam 20:15-22).

When you are taken before authorities, it will result in your being witness to them. Don’t worry, God will give you the words and wisdom to speak and none will be able to contradict (Lk 21:13-15).

We have all the modern gadgets. Finish your work quickly and go out to meet a non-Christian neighbor or teach the neighborhood kids.

f) Speak Wisely

Hold your tongue (if necessary with your hand). Women have a loose tongue which needs a lot of training. That’s why James, after saying so much about the tongue straightaway talks about wisdom. “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” (3:17). Mary learned to keep things in her heart (Lk 2:19,51). Abigail knew when to talk and when to keep her mouth shut. She is known as a wise woman (1 Sam 25:3, 36,37). “The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge” (Prov 9:13). Control of tongue comes only by practice and takes a long, long time. So start early. The beauty of a woman is a quiet and gentle spirit (1 Pet 3:4). Most fights at home are due to unwise exchange of words. So learn when to talk and how to talk.

g) Use Time Profitably

Time is very precious. Every second must be planned wisely and used intelligently. “Be very careful then how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15,16). Set your priorities straight, otherwise time will be frittered away in useless activities. Be clear in your mind what you want to accomplish in the lifetime you are left with. Planning your day prevents waste of time.

Have a pocket notebook to note down the things to do. Before going to bed decide what you are going to prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so that morning you won’t sit scratching your head. Set apart your time for God, time for family and relaxation, time for work and time for yourself.

Be quick and brisk. Rebekah “quickly” “ran” to give water. Mary and her accomplices “ran” to tell the news of resurrection. Imagine Jewish women running in their long robes! Get the family to involve in housework. Delegate work for the husband and children so that you won’t tire out. It is good training for the children too.

h) Spend money wisely

You may be earning or given a monthly allowance by your husband for household expenses. Whatever it may be, handle it wisely. Do not fritter away money. Be satisfied with your income and plan your expenses. Generously give to kingdom work. Jesus spoke of a man who wanted to store up all his grains and enjoy life: God asked him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Lk 12:20). Spend minimum on clothes and constructions. Save every pie to give to God. Jesus told the parable of the “shrewd” manager and concluded: “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for your- selves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings”  (Lk 16:8,9). “All the women whose heart stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goat’s hair” to build the tablernacle (Ex 35:25,26). These are days of missionary revival. Are you experiencing a stirring up in your heart to spend for God? Go ahead and do it; do not quench it.

I) Receive the Spirit of Wisdom

Ask God for the “Spirit of wisdom and of understanding” (Isa 11:2). God is not stingy. He will pour out His Spirit on you without measure.

May God bless you abundantly with His wisdom!

   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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