We know we need wisdom to navigate today’s world. But, there’s a big difference at their very core between spiritual wisdom versus earthly wisdom. A faulty or weak foundation leads to unsatisfactory, even devastating, results. The bad outcome may not evidence itself immediately, perhaps not until far into the future, but ultimately a poor foundation fails to hold up.
The Immediate Outcome of Spiritual Wisdom Contrasted with Earthly Wisdom
When we try to live the Christian life using earthly wisdom, or when we try to operate the church on the basis on earthly wisdom, we usually end up with duty … regulations that “have the appearance of wisdom” but lack power and prudence to protect us from sin (Col. 2:20-23). We put undue burdens on ourselves that pull us down rather than lift us up.
But, when we look to the Lord for wisdom and walk in His ways personally and as a church, we end up with delight … for His wisdom is “like honey for you”, sweet to your soul, and “there is a future hope for you” (Prov. 10:23; 24:14) which results in an ability to thrive even in difficult circumstances.
Applying God’s wisdom in life may not always produce pleasant results right now because we live in a fallen world that opposes God and His ways. But, regardless of the immediate consequences that come from decisions based on spiritual wisdom, we have the peace, comfort, and hope needed to make it. We can face a lot of negativity and adversity when it is well with our souls.
Think about it: Which is better — internal or external results?
The Long Term Outcomes of Spiritual Wisdom Contrasted with Earthly Wisdom
We might struggle to apply spiritual wisdom rather than earthly wisdom because of the immediate outcome. Sometimes decisions born out of spiritual wisdom don’t always produce the immediate results we want whereas earthly wisdom might. We can regain perspective if we look at the long term outcomes.
The long-term outcome of spiritual wisdom? — deliverance (Prov. 2:12; 4:6; 28:26)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Pet. 5:10)
The long-term outcome of earthly wisdom? — destruction (Prov. 10:14; 14:11-12)
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Prov. 14:12)
Think about it: Which is better — temporal or eternal results?
It just doesn’t make sense to trust in ourselves or to walk in the ways of the world (earthly wisdom) when God’s ways (spiritual wisdom) ultimately lead to the right outcome. Let’s not be deceived into missing out on God’s best because of shortsightedness. Remember God’s word in Isaiah 55:9 — “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”