Are You Growing In Wisdom or Just . . . Growing?

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Written by: Patti Rosell 

Patti Rosell is a wife and mother of four. She has her master’s in social work and has seen those skills repurposed in recent years to serve the local church. She has been a member of Seven Mile Road, just north of Boston, for 17 years. Patti serves in a variety of ways discipling women, teaching, writing, and working with pastors to value and love their women so the church thrives.

This following content was originally published on Acts 29’s website, linked HERE.


The passing of time is inevitable. As minutes tick forward and days progress, there’s an onward moving pace that’s inescapable. It can feel slow when underwhelming or necessary tasks are before you or as you’re waiting for difficult news. That same block of time can race by at lightning speed during a date with someone you love, your favorite activity, or work that captivates you. Time progresses, and we get to live through it.

As time passes, growth happens. The natural world reflects this as we watch the planting of a seed turn into a sprout and, ultimately, a beautiful flower. The nurturing elements of water, sun, and warmth join with time to result in growth. This is also evident when you haven’t seen a child for a substantial amount of time. “My, look at you. How you’ve grown!” are often the first words spoken by a distant aunt or friend who hasn’t seen a child lately. Growth is part of the human experience.

Christians have an invitation that intentionally moves our growth toward wisdom. Our surrender to Jesus changes our path after we confess that he is Lord and believe in our hearts that he has risen (Rom. 10:9). We’re no longer living for ourselves; we belong to the Lord (Rom. 14:8). Being united with Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), we can know God. The privileged position of a son or daughter of the king gives us access to the Father (2 Cor. 6:18). This access opens a world of opportunity not just to exist but to be formed so that our lives look more and more like Jesus.

How often are we pursuing wisdom? We’re not meant to coast through our lives or merely survive without engaging wholeheartedly. Now, there are seasons when we’re bombarded with circumstantial challenges that make getting through the day a significant victory. But those are time-limited and still have opportunities to gain a more profound knowledge of God. God consistently calls us in his Word to ask for wisdom, as he generously supplies it to all without reproach (James 1:5). The entire canon of Scripture is growing our understanding of God and equipping us to not only know the will of God but actually do it.CLICK TO TWEET

As you ponder what growth looks like in your life, consider these three questions about the nature of wisdom.

What Is Wisdom?

The Bible gives us insight into this question. Wisdom is explicitly personified in Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, but that’s just part of the story. The entire canon of Scripture is growing our understanding of God and equipping us to not only know the will of God but actually do it. As Christians, we’re encouraged to live out God’s purposes by making daily decisions that align with God’s law. Wisdom is the capacity to assess, discern, contemplate, and act rightly by the power of the Spirit. Our actions in wisdom are the application and reflection of what we know to be true about the gospel of Christ.

Where Does Wisdom Begin?

Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So to define wisdom, you first need to identify its source. Looking in awe and reverence to God as the source of wisdom orients us to be with the One who freely gives it (Prov. 2:6).

In Job 28:12, the question is asked, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” There’s a sense in this passage that wisdom is hidden and not in plain sight, but the answer comes in Job 28:23, “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.”

God is the source, originator, and creator of wisdom. When we trust God, we find wisdom freely offered in our surrender.

How Do I Pursue Wisdom?

The pursuit of wisdom is the pursuit of God. As we intentionally immerse ourselves in his Word and story, we’re transformed to see the world as he sees it. This takes humility and a willingness to lay down our desires and come alive to righteousness. It’s in this place that the sanctifying work of transformation happens. The pursuit of wisdom is the pursuit of God. As we intentionally immerse ourselves in his Word and story, we’re transformed to see the world as he sees it.CLICK TO TWEET

The steady, gospel-fueled devotion of abiding in Jesus will bear fruit (John 15:4). Coasting through life or just surviving doesn’t carry that same promise. We often hear of regret from those who’ve gone before us; how time just slipped away. This is the way of the fool who trusts in his mind (Prov. 28:26), and there’s consistent warning of this in Scripture.

We have the power of God through the indwelling of the Spirit to “not walk as unwise, but as wise” (Eph. 5:15). May we, believers in Jesus, be quietly devoted to knowing God and growing in wisdom. This brings glory to God and is good for us—it moves us outward as people-loving, discerning, culture-penetrating lights to a world in need.

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