Wisdom For Solving Financial Problems

James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him."

What is intelligence? I recently completed an Intelligence Quotient test and was required to answer questions comparing series of shapes, calculation of distances, and even such questions as, "Hand is to glove as sock is to ……" (if you guessed foot, you would have gotten that one right). After completing the exam, I was given my "I.Q. score" and information regarding my ranking against the overall population. This whole experience really made me wonder, what intelligence is. There are as many definitions of "smart" as there are people attempting to define it. Some are considered "street smart," others "book smart," and yet others are said to have "good common sense."

In real life terms, our ability to solve everyday problems is probably the most practical application of our intellectual abilities. Wisdom, is defined by Webster as "good sense." The best definition I have heard is, "wisdom is the application of knowledge." In other words; wisdom is the transformation of the knowing into the doing.

"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing."


The Bible frequently references wisdom, which is an attribute far deeper than one's I.Q. or ability to solve math problems. The King James Version of the Bible includes 234 references to wisdom. What must we do then to become wise? Is it a matter of education, life experience, our parents? While I am sure that we each have obtained some measure of earthly wisdom from these experiences, real wisdom comes only from God. The exciting thing about obtaining wisdom, is that it's there for the asking! God promises to give us wisdom if we would only ask him for it.

My greatest prayer for those that I counsel is for God to grant them wisdom. Wisdom is more than just an answer for today's problems, it is our ongoing ability to respond to everyday challenges. While libraries and bookstores are filled with thousands of financial books, reading them all will only provide knowledge. Knowledge, while important and necessary, is like a rocket without fuel. Wisdom is the ability to pull together this raw information and synthesize it into a practical application for your life today.

A challenge in wisdom; find a quiet place and provide yourself with a minimum of two hours. During these two hours, bring only a pen and a notepad. Ask your family not to disturb you during this exercise. Begin by asking God for wisdom. Next, make a list of your financial problems. Go ahead, keep listing them even if it takes several pages to do so. Lastly, look over your list of "problems" and prioritize them. You might do this by making a new list and numbering them from most important to least important. An alternative would be to give each problem a rating such as "L" for low, "M" for medium, and "H" for high.

You should have at least sixty to ninety minutes left to "brainstorm." Start by placing each one of your high priority problems at the top of a separate sheet of paper. Now, sit quietly and truly seek answers from God.

As solutions come to mind, write them down on the sheet of paper corresponding to that problem. Don't question, don't think of all of the reasons that a given idea won't work, just write them down.

After you have completed this exercise, you will have dozens if not hundreds of solutions to your most urgent problems. Repeat this exercise often, taking time to deal with your medium and low level issues before they move up in the ranking. This approach also works well for any problem, financial or otherwise.

What is wonderful about this method is that we are literally giving God our problems, asking for His wisdom, and then offering a blank pad of paper for His solutions. Why don't we just stop our busy lives and ask God for His wisdom and guidance? God is waiting right now for you to ask.

James L. Paris

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