Four Ways to be a Sage in a Stupid Age - Part 4 of the Five Aspects of Manhood

I’m a fairly stupid guy sometimes.

I didn’t say totally stupid-I said fairly stupid.

Some people suffer from temporary insanity.

I’m different.  I suffer from temporary stupidity.

Let me prove it.

Just the other day my wife asked me to remove all of the wasp nests from our front porch.

I spotted an angry looking yellow jacket perched upon his nest.

Rather than grab a fly swatter (the intelligent thought never crossed my raison-sized brain)
I grabbed a broom stick.  

I aimed the end of the stick (the end that you normally hold) at the buzzing bee and began jousting.

I missed the bee over and over and over.

The bee realized its advantage, (he was jousting with a stupid guy) hovered up and over my head, and then flew away, free as a bird.

Let me define stupid.

A good definition acts like a fence.  Some concepts are kept in while others are left out.

Stupidity is a lack of smarts.  

Smart people know things, exercise good judgment and live intelligently with wisdom.

Stupid people know little, fail to exercise good judgment and choose unwise methods to kill bees.

And yet, maybe my admission of stupidity is my first step towards becoming a sage.

When a person exercises wisdom that comes from age, failure and experience he is called a sage.

What are four things a man can do to become a sage in a stupid age?

First he can appreciate that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

Wisdom has always been about not only choosing the right goals in life, but also the right methods to reach those goals at the right time.

Men, we are to fear God first if wisdom is to ignite.

But what is fear?  

Fear is the explosive intermixture of intense desire to get closer to beauty, while at the same time wanting to sprint as far away from beauty so as not to get sizzled by its supremacy.

Need an example?

When a guy sees a new truck or a lovely lady or a breathtaking mountain, he simultaneously wants to get closer and farther away.

He wants to get closer, cause he really wants that truck or girl or challenging climb up the mountain.

He wants to get farther away cause he knows he does not have what it takes to get any of these (I’m too poor, not in her class, unable to climb to the top).

What’s this got to do with being a sage instead of a stupid guy?

Everything.

When we start with God (he is more valuable than a truck or a lady or a mountain) and get close enough to him to submit to his wisdom, while staying far enough away to admit our dependence on him, we actually begin to become wise.

God always has the right goals, the best methods and perfect sovereign timing.  Fear him and you will take the first step towards being a sage.

Second, spend tons of time mastering skills that fire you up.

Men have different likes and dislikes.  Pursue your likes and get some know-how.

Do you like to tinker with engines?  Get your hands greasy, make mistakes, and grow in wisdom.

Do you like to read?  Read good books, think, make some mental mistakes, and grow in wisdom.

After years of tinkering away at a skill, you’ll be sought out to serve others with your sage advice.

Third, beware of abusing your growth as a sage.

Remember Solomon? He is considered the wisest man that ever lived.

God clearly commanded Solomon to fear him by refusing to stockpile gold and wives (Deuteronomy 17:17).  God wanted Solomon to trust and depend on him alone instead of money and ladies.

Solomon acted the fool and his kingdom fractured.

As we acquire and then master skills and know-how, we need to trust God’s goals, methods and timing, so that we do not abuse everyone around us.

Fourth, beware of abandoning your call to be a sage.

Do you habitually read God’s word which reveals God’s goals and methods for living a life of high adventure?

How do you spend your idle time?  Do you fritter it away with the escape of entertainment?  

Look.  I know life is hard for us guys.  

The stresses and strains are knee-buckling.

Life regularly punches us in the face.

But you are a Jesus-man.  

Jesus is called “the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24).

As we live united to him, following and fearing his goals and methods, we will become truly wise.

Life is a 15 round fight and you are not in the ring alone.

Don’t escape from the ring of life and hide in the playground of pornography.

Have you heard all of the stupid exuses?

I’ve heard them all:    

It releases my sexual tension

Everyone involved is enjoying themselves

It will make me a better lover

My wife is tired

I'm single

Guys, these excuses are beef-brained and we know it.

Instead, let’s get back in the ring of life with Jesus and other guys by our side, and become sages who fear God.

Get trained by wiser men than you.  Laugh at your stupidity as you resolve to rely on the grace of God alone for your salvation.  Pray for wisdom to be a sage in a stupid age.

Howard Cole
Senior Pastor
Metro North Church