Do you like fortune cookies?
Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy some free wisdom inside a cookie?!
Like the Corinthian church years ago, we are prone to settle for “fortune cookie wisdom”—pithy sayings, shiny new perspectives and prudent-sounding adages. The culture is hungry for wisdom and many feel confident to offer it in self-help literature, greeting cards, daily planners, memes, and even, fortune cookies.
But what is genuine wisdom?
In 1 Corinthians 1-2, Paul emphasizes that wisdom is cross-centered and Spirit-inspired.
The cross refutes all worldly wisdom. Paul preached the cross to the Corinthians knowing it lacked the curb appeal of the ideas and philosophies they valued. He preached the raw and rugged cross nonetheless because it is the irreplaceable groundwork to make us wise unto salvation. But in doing so simply and in weakness, he ensured that the primary persuasive force in his preaching would be the power of the Spirit.
He wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:13, “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
The journey to authentic maturity must pass through the cross and be guided by the Spirit. True wisdom is Spirit-inspired. If we are progressing in our pursuit of wisdom then we WILL become familiar with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We will become attuned to how God nudges us towards faith-filled action.
Wisdom that is cross-centered and Spirit-inspired is so much deeper and transformational than “fortune cookie wisdom.” It gives us the freedom to absorb unjustified criticism at work. And then, not just avoid lashing out, but offer edifying words that cut through thick rivalry. It helps us recognize that high school students need high SAT scores and great college essays as much as they need Spirit-inspired guidance to keep building a Christ-like character for a lifetime. True wisdom guides us to understand that when our spouses don’t live up to our expectations, we still must offer grace and honest feedback rather than playing manipulative games with selfish motivations. Finally, this deep wisdom helps us discern how to fruitfully navigate complicated relationships with family.
As we evaluate our methods of decision-making, perhaps we should ask ourselves two poignant questions:
1. Does my decision reflect the reality that Jesus died on the cross for my sins?
2. Am I convinced that my decision-making has been guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit?