I might have been a bit of a morbid teenager because I loved the Bible story where King Solomon threatened to cut a baby in half. That’s disturbing right? In 1 Kings 3 16-28 there are two women (prostitutes to be exact) who both had baby boys. One of the women had accidental rolled over her baby in her sleep and suffocated it to death. While her roommate was still asleep she switched her dead baby for the alive one. The other woman was less than thrilled. They were brought before King Solomon for a custody hearing. Upon hearing the women fighting King Solomon ordered a sword to be brought to him. He declared he would slice the baby in two and give each woman a half. The real mother then revealed herself by crying out and pleading with the king to just give the other woman her baby in order to save his life. King Solomon then recognizes the real mother and had her baby given to her- in one piece.
I admired the wisdom and quick wit King Solomon used in his decision making skills. I wanted to be like Solomon! I was hopeful when I came across James 1:5 which states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Even as a teenager I thought to myself, “There is hope for me!” and ever since then I frequently pray with boldness for God to give me (and now my husband also) wisdom far beyond our years.
I feel like God has given me a little wisdom in how I spend my money by frequently buying second-hand items. Recently, while thrift shopping, I came across three adorable mini, baby dolls just like I had when I was little. For a dollar each I purchased all three for my own three children. I didn’t figure they would be a big hit since my kids aren’t really into dolls. My 5-year-old daughter Amelia and my 4-year-old son, Benjamin, don’t have much interest in dolls (I was more or less reliving my childhood). However my two-year-old son Curtis took an especial liking to his baby. He named her “Elmo.” I only argued he not name her “Cookie” because that’s what Ben had named his. Every night Curtis tucked baby Elmo under his arm. “Mine baby sleeping,” he would say. It was true. His baby had a permanent eyes-closed-yawn expression on its face. But one day Curtis became frustrated that his baby would never wake up. “Mine baby not wake up!” he sadly stated. The next morning I saw him holding Ben’s baby “Cookie.” Cookie had a perpetual yawn as well, but her eyes were open.
I wish God had imparted some of Solomon’s wisdom on me because sure enough a custody battle ensued. “This mine baby!” Curtis demanded. “NO, your baby is sleeping!” corrected Ben. Why, oh why did I not grab a pair of scissors!?! The expression on their faces would have been priceless if I had pulled a King Solomon and threatened to cut their baby in half. I’m sure Ben would have just watched in amusement and Curtis would have cried out saying, “No cut mine baby!” Considering I don’t have anywhere near Solomon’s wisdom and also I already knew it was Ben’s baby I just gave it to the rightful owner and asked that they both go look for “Elmo.”
I believe this week God was trying to tell me something about wisdom. This past weekend my husband and I went to a benefit banquet. During hor d’oeuvres guests were encouraged to mingle. We spotted a familiar face so we headed over to talk with him. This man held a high place in our minds as a spiritual leader. He was someone who we viewed as successful in his work and family life, and we were open to any bits of wisdom hey may enlighten us with. When we entered the conversation I caught a not-so-discreet eye-roll at our approach. We kept the conversation short and moved on to find someone else who we could apparently annoy. I was saddened. I didn’t really care that someone thought we work dorks. I whispered to my husband what I had witnessed and he joked, “You mean someone thinks we’re dorks??” I looked at him and we laughed our dorky laugh and moved on to our next victim of conversation.
Honestly, even though my husband is great at making me laugh I still felt sad. I was sad because I then realized that one silly, indiscrete unloving gesture can shut the door for any future speaking truth to, ministering to, or as my church people like to say “speaking Jesus to” someone. I was sad because I realized that no matter the massive amounts of wisdom someone may have to offer it means nothing if they are unloving. I was sad because I wondered how many opportunities I have lost to show Christ’s love because I was more concerned about being right. I was sad because I wondered how many times I have shut my own children’s ears to truth because I was not loving in my reproach.
I still pray for wisdom. I know I make an idiot of myself daily. But even more than wisdom I pray for love. Give me a heart like King David- a heart after your own will. Help me to love people like you do. Help me to care more about showing your love more than I care about being right.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-3
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13