Why ask for wisdom?
“But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties... So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people.”
Many people say, “It’s the thought that counts.” Does this mean that simply thinking about something, rather than taking action, is enough? No, of course not. What it means is that it’s important to consider one’s reasons alongside their actions. The Lord was pleased Solomon asked for wisdom, but I believe it was more so because of Solomon’s motivation.
We cannot see directly into the minds of others, but Solomon’s response allows us a glimpse into his heart. “God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” An open request, God doesn’t pressure him into making an honorable wish. Firstly, Solomon thanks God for His blessings. Secondly, displaying incredible humility, Solomon declares that he, the king, did not know how to carry out his duties. This not only shows a humble spirit but a responsible one, acknowledging the duties that he must fulfill. Several years had passed since the near coup where Solomon had his life threatened by his half-brother Adonijah. The kingdom, now firmly in his hands, is enjoying a time of peace and a new alliance with the great kingdom of Egypt. It would be easy for Solomon to slip into thinking that he alone was capable and knew best. We all turn to God during times of hardship, but how quickly do we forget to rely on him when life is going smoothly?
Solomon asks for a discerning heart to (1) govern God’s people, and (2) distinguish between right and wrong. He wants to better himself for the benefit of others, to do God’s work on Earth. God is so pleased with Solomon’s heart that he declares “there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” Let’s not lose heart - although we may never equal the wisdom of Solomon, let us still pray to God, the source of wisdom.
And do not pray for wisdom simply because someone else told you it is something you should do. Rather, like Solomon, let us first build the characteristics of humility and servitude that will foster in us the heart to desire wisdom before we attempt to attain it. Recently, we saw this repeated in Christ, King of kings, washing the feet of his disciples. Such is the heart of wisdom.
We cannot pray for wisdom for reasons of gain and glory; rather we must desire it as a tool that will enable us to get closer to one another and in turn, to God. Do you want to become a better person? Do you want to do it for your sake or for others? Hopefully, the answers to these questions will help you become wiser today than yesterday.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we ask you to instill in us a heart of gratitude and servitude. Break our spirits and mold us anew into a new creation. Help us to be more aware of the duties you have given us here on Earth. May we glorify you in all we do. Amen.
Thought for the Day: “Why should I become a better perso
Jerel Chacko, Epiphany MTC, NY