It’s impossible to read the book of Proverbs and not get the message that wisdom waits. As a general principle for practicing your faith, know that it is safer to wait and do nothing than to rush in and do the wrong thing. One of the many proverbs that expresses this biblical truth says, “He sins who hastens with his feet” (Proverbs 19:2).
Let me share how we applied this “wisdom waits” principle in our home one hot summer day. The phone rang, and the call was for my daughter Katherine from a friend I had neither met nor ever heard of. This teenage girl was inviting my daughter to go to the beach right away. Her message was, “We’re leaving right now, and we’ll pick you up in 15 minutes!”
Well, Katherine didn’t go to the beach that day. Why? First of all, our day was already planned (“Plan A is always best” is one of my mottoes), and it didn’t include her going to the beach. Also, Jim and I had not met this group of friends (Who was driving? Would boys be going?). This plan was definitely something we could say no to. And we could—and did—wait for a planned beach outing later on.
A friend of mine also had an opportunity to wait. Her mother-in-law was demanding a written letter of apology regarding a very difficult situation—and she wanted it right now! It had to go out in today’s mail so she could have it tomorrow or else! My friend sent the letter—a week later. Why? Because she wanted to pray, have her heart right, share with her husband, seek counsel, and then have someone read the letter to help her word it so that it would truly accomplish God’s purposes, which were indeed better served by waiting.
Offers are always coming our way demanding our attention and presenting opportunities to get off our Plan A track. But you and I don’t have to give those opportunities attention right now! Instead, we simply have to decide who’s in control. Choosing to wait rather than acting impulsively is one way to gain or stay in control. This then gives us the opportunity to place our questions or concerns before our God, who is ultimately the one in control.
A quote that I remind myself of often comes from the surprising source of a business book called, Working Smart. “Very few things in life call for an instantaneous decision on your part…. Keep your cool…. Make delay your first strategy for avoiding [chaos and crisis]…. A good rule of thumb to remember is that most things seem more important in the present than they actually are.”
Wisdom waits. Will you?
A Prayer to Pray: Lord, help me remember at each point of decision that you are in control and have given me the free-will to exercise control over my choices. Give me the strength and words to check my emotions, and those of others, in order to make wise choices.
Find more encouragement to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in my book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.