How to be Wise

I completed a series of posts on what wisdom is, where it comes from, and what a wise person looks like. If you haven’t read these posts, you can find them in the Mystery of Wisdom Summary post. But how do we apply wisdom? The following Scripture passage is a song that almost everyone knows. Read this passage and guess the song. If you know the song, sing it loud and include the motions if you know them.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” ̶ Matthew 7:24-27.

This passage is the last instruction in Jesus’s first sermon. Since Jesus is God’s son and is God. Colossians 1:19-20 states, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Jesus taught in His first sermon what He expects of us if we were to follow Him and be wise.

Building on a rock gives your house a solid foundation. The house is our spiritual life, and the rock is Jesus. 1 Corinthians 3:11 states, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” You can obey Jesus’s instructions and build your spiritual lives on His truths, or you can ignore His instructions and build your life on the sands of human opinions, unhealthy beliefs, and worldly wisdom. The storms of life will expose what you built your life on.

Jesus says a lot of hard-to-do instructions in this sermon, but know that He is with you and will help you when you humbly call on His name. Many of the difficult instructions relate to our pride and our need for God to give us a new heart. We will learn more about each instruction in subsequent posts. Let us review Jesus’s instructions in His first sermon in Matthew chapters 5-7.

5:1-12  ̶  Jesus begins with nine blessings for the following conditions:

a) the poor in spirit;

b) those who mourn;

c) the gentle;

d) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness;

e) the merciful;

f) the pure in heart;

g) the peacemakers;

h) those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness;

i) those who are insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused because of Jesus.

5:13-20 – We are to be the salt and light for the world by showing our faith by our good works and giving glory to our Father in heaven.

5:21-26 – Do not murder or be angry and insult a fellow Christian; instead, be reconciled to them.

5:27-32 – Do not lust because even if you have a lustful intent toward someone, you have committed adultery. Remove whatever is causing you to lust, such as the internet, books, movies, etc., and avoid places that tempt you to lust. Because of our lust, we are tempted to commit adultery, leading to divorce, though Jesus discourages divorce.

5:33-37 – Do not take oaths. Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no” be no.

5:38-42 – Do not retaliate. Give to those who ask.

5:43-48 – Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so as sons of God, “You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This sounds impossible, but with God’s divine power in us, we can be perfect if we obey God’s laws. See 2Peter 1:3-12

6:1-4 – Do not practice your righteousness to be noticed by others. Don’t let people see you giving to the needy.

6:5-15 – Pray to your Father in heaven and forgive anyone who has sinned against you, just as your father in heaven has forgiven you.

6:16-18 – Do not fast to be noticed by others.

6:19-24 – Serve God, not money. Do not focus on money and metaphorically blind your eyes.

6:25-34 – Do not be anxious (concerned) about anything but seek first God’s kingdom.

7:1-6 – Don’t judge, but first remove the log from your own eye.

7:7-11 – Ask, seek, and knock through prayer and expect answers.

7:12 – Treat others as you would have them treat you.

7:13-14 – Enter by the narrow gate and not by the wide gate that leads to destruction.

7:15-20 – Recognize false teachers by their fruit and avoid them.

7:21-23 – Do your heavenly Father’s will.

7:24-27 – Do all that I have instructed you and you will be wise.

Most importantly, do you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, then love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40 and Luke 10:27)?

May God bless you richly as you obey Him.