Life presents us with little problems, big problems, and more problems. Bad things happen to us. The car unexpectedly breaks down. We may contract an illness or suffer an injury, accident, or tragedy. We may lose a job. Someone dear to us may die. How do we deal with these circumstances when all we want is a healthy and happy life?
Living our lives skillfully and successfully is a difficult challenge. We may have to contend with government regulations and bureaucracy. We may have a hard-nosed boss or an irksome co-worker. Our teacher or professor may be hard to comprehend or a classmate may get us into trouble. We may lose our savings when an investment goes bad or our identity is stolen. Even friends and family members may cause us difficulties at times. The challenges are all around us in a world fraught with dangers, trials, and moral decline. How can we live a happy life in such an environment?
Navigating the storms of life successfully requires knowledge, and more importantly, wisdom. People buy self-help books, attend seminars or get psychological counseling to try to gain knowledge and guidance to deal with life’s problems. Books have been written about how to live life, but while some of the knowledge they contain may be helpful, there is much that may not be helpful at all.
Sages and ancient philosophers of history offer their observations and worldly wisdom on how to live life. We may find some wise sayings that come from reflecting on life’s experiences to be valuable. Some sayings of human wisdom are humorous, but some are cynical and others are just plain false. Why? Because human understanding is extremely limited, and often misinterprets findings and draws wrong conclusions. We do not always get all of the facts and often misjudge. We are biased and easily deceive ourselves. Our pride and lust interfere with making right decisions, and our history proves that human wisdom is seriously flawed and that countless individual human beings are incapable of fully ruling themselves, much less others.
Wisdom is the ability to understand and use true knowledge to deal with life’s issues and challenges and live life successfully. It is an ability to accurately assess problems, to discern the best course of action and then to act prudently to resolve the problems. Wisdom will help us manage our health, our livelihood, our possessions, and our relationships with others. Wisdom will help us have peaceful sleep, overcome fear and be happy, and have a successful life (Proverbs 3). We would all like to find a source of true wisdom. We can find this true wisdom in our Creator God’s “Book of Instructions.”
Much of God’s wisdom may seem to be foolish to those who do not believe in Him. They foolishly cast aside God’s instructions, thinking they know better, but their human logic and reasoning is seriously flawed and their worldly wisdom will be shown to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18–31). Those who think they are wise in this world are deceiving themselves and are futile in their understanding (1 Corinthians 3:18–23).
Whether we seek the words of godly wisdom or not, we can be assured that life will afford us many opportunities where true wisdom is needed. In the words of the song, “To Life! (L’Chaim!)” from the Academy Award and Globe Award winning film of 1971, Fiddler on the Roof: “Our great men have written words of wisdom to be used when hardship must be faced; life obliges us with hardship so the words of wisdom shouldn’t go to waste.”
To help you on the path to finding the true wisdom of God and living life successfully, read these articles from the Tomorrow’s World magazine: “The Good Life in Hard Times,” “Real Abundant Life” and “Can You Really Change Your Life?”