Someone once told me that it’s a good idea to always pray for wisdom because wisdom, once possessed, can’t be taken away from you. Seems logical enough. Since then one of my daily prayers for myself and for the people I love has been for abundant wisdom…bold, in-your-face, profound wisdom (and application!).
We are currently in the midst of a series at LCBC, The Art of Ending, that has been chalk-full of wisdom of this nature as it relates to the relationships in our lives and the people we get to do life with. Most would probably agree that when it comes to relationships of any kind, we tend to be great at starting out but come up short when it comes to the difficulties associated with endings.
Endings, though, sometimes are necessary as we begin to understand that good cannot fully begin until bad ends. Depending on the relationships and circumstances being faced, this can sometimes mean ending a relationship completely. Proceed with caution, though, because more often than not, however, this insinuates the need for identifying faulty behaviors and patterns in a relationship, having tough but necessary conversations, deciding to set boundaries, and doing the hard work to follow-through with what has been established. Remember, boundaries ultimately bring freedom.
Who we choose to spend our time with matters and can have an acute impact on many facets of our lives. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us that bad company corrupts good character. 2 Timothy 2 is a bit more graphic and suggests that foolish people and behaviors are like a disease that quickly and easily spreads (some translations even use the disease Gangrene to depict this…if you have a strong stomach, look it up!) You get the picture…wisdom suggests being keenly aware of what and with whom we choose to involve ourselves. Disregarding this will only lead us to a place where we must be content to reap what we sow in the long run.
As you consider all of the relationships in your life…perhaps your spouse, the people you work with, your friends and neighbors…you may begin to identify foolish people and behaviors exist that need to end. Taking an inward look may even cause you to realize that you, too, have been or fed into foolishness. Proverbs 5 and 6 include some profound truths and reminders: beware of the scoundrel, the sinister, the tempter. Beware that you may, yourself, have qualities of such people, too, that need to be come to an end.
New life, a new sense of peace and hope can be found for you and others as you evaluate the company you keep. God provides wisdom, wisdom that can’t be taken from you, and allows for you to move forward…embracing the endings just as much as the beginnings so that good can truly begin.