As something of a parlor game, Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson has asked audiences over the years a seemingly simple and straightforward question:

“What was the first thing God created?”

Not surprisingly, most turn to the first sentence of the Bible:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“Not exactly,” the child psychologist would reply, but then acknowledge, “It’s a bit of a trick question.”

Instead, Dr. Dobson directs audiences to Proverbs. “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth” (8:22-23).

It’s “Wisdom” that is speaking – an essential and critical characteristic of God. It’s His point of view – and only a fool disregards or is disinterested in cultivating and obtaining that everlasting perspective.

At quick glance, it would seem that type of wisdom is in short supply these days.  Social media is full of advice givers. As has been said, though, it’s usually served up by people trying to sell something we don’t need, hoping to convince us to buy something we can’t afford, in order to impress people we don’t even know.

Yet, God’s point of view is timeless and timely, helping us find answers to questions that aren’t always immediately evident. It helps us block out the noise of the news and resist the urge to go along to get along – or stop us from thinking that getting along is a virtue – when it’s often a vice.

Wisdom helps keeps us focused on the essentials.

“If you look to others you will be distracted,” warned the late Bible teacher and pastor Warren Wiersbe. “If you look to yourselves, you will be discouraged; but if you look to Christ you’ll be delighted.”

Wiersbe, who accepted Christ at a Dr. Billy Graham Crusade, devoted his entire ministry to helping other pastors and congregants better understand God’s point of view by studying and teaching the Bible. Warren pastored numerous churches and served with a variety of ministries including “Back to the Bible” and “Youth for Christ.”

Known for serving up pithy, practical, and memorable lessons, Wiersbe once boiled life down to four lessons:

  1. Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up.
  2. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy.
  3. Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped to get you higher.
  4. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.

That’s wisdom.

We desperately need leaders who will first seek God’s direction and blessing before directing others and then asking and hoping He blesses it.

We need leaders with conviction and moral courage – but courage and conviction about the right things. Radicals can be both convicted and courageous – but blinded by raw power and pursue foolish ends using immoral means.

“The great aim of leadership is to lead followers continually into a deeper and more comprehensive love for what is most real, most true, most right, and most important,” writes Dr. Al Mohler. “A refusal to make moral judgments is not humility. It is insanity.”

How do we obtain such wisdom and perspective? Some of the best ways are through reading, study, conversation and fellowship with men and women who love the Lord.

When Warren Wiersbe passed away in 2019 just shy of his 90th birthday, the story was told of their move to Lincoln, Nebraska, where the teacher was to serve at “Back to the Bible.” It was Betty Wiersbe, Warren’s wife, who told the realtor, “We are looking for a library with a house attached.” The Wiersbe family donated the 14,000-book collection to Cedarville University.

Wise leaders who are in a constant pursuit of God’s point of view will serve our nation well.