In 2 Chronicles chapter 1 verses 7 to 12 we find the story of Solomon receiving the gift of wisdom from Yahweh. Like folk tales from other oral traditions, the story has a bit of a twist to it. Yahweh visits Solomon one night and offers to give him a gift. Solomon’s response is to ask for wisdom. Wasn’t that a wise thing to do in the first place? And of course, because it is such a good answer, Yahweh rewards Solomon by granting him riches, treasure and honor, as well as wisdom and knowledge.
Solomon’s story and my own experience have led me to wonder about what makes a person wise. Is it a gift bestowed upon specific persons by a generous God? If so, the gift was bestowed upon Solomon some time before his late night conversation with Yahweh. If it was not merely a gift, then how did Solomon acquire wisdom? Scriptures (and folk tales) don’t make that very clear.
As I have acquired years, I like to think that I am wiser than I was in my youth. I certainly have more empathy for a broader range of people, since I have experienced more than sixty years of life. If I have learned from my life experiences, I think that has made me a wiser human being.
I have also learned that when I have a decision to make, or a conflict to solve, I need to spend time in prayer. Good answers emerge if I allow time for the Spirit to bring wisdom to me.