If Only I Had a Brain

In the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, one of the most notable characters is the Scarecrow. He meets Dorothy and is adamant on the lifestyle of not having a brain. No worries, no expectation, just fun. But as he continues in his journey, he starts to see how wisdom might not be such a bad thing after all – just like in the book of Proverbs.

Much of Proverbs is seeking Godly wisdom rather than foolishness. But how do we know when we are seeking God’s discernment versus our own intuition? How do we make those decisions to navigate what is right or wrong? Why can’t we just not have a brain like the Scarecrow and blindly follow God where He tells us to go?

Unfortunately (or not), we have our own capacity to make our own decisions in our own time. We have free will to choose every day whether or not we will follow the instructions of the Lord toward righteousness or not. While this may sound like a slightly intimidating or overwhelming thought, we are told that God meets us where we are.

Proverbs 2:8-9 says God “guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.” Not only does God guard us while we navigate what is good, but God will also help us discern what is right, just, and fair.

The more we are with God, the easier it will become to hear from Him what is wise according to His standard. He does not abandon us or leave us in the process: He protects those who are faithful to Him every step along the way. Does that mean God will not be faithful if we mess up once or twice? (or three… or four…) By no means! God’s promise to faithfulness is a promise, one that will never be broken. So even though we will make a few mistakes, we are still wrapped in His grace and protection.

But we cannot live in those mistakes. While we will mess up, God calls us to recognize those mistakes and seek why they are not wise according to His will. Once we can see beyond ourselves to someone far greater will we begin to traverse the journey of Godly wisdom.

So we have a brain and it slowly transforms over time. As we are learning what it means to walk in Godly wisdom, we will grow in our love and understanding of God and neighbor. And just like our friend the Scarecrow, we will eventually see the goodness that can come from loving wisdom. Those are some pretty sweet benefits of wisdom if you ask me. – Katie Hufnagle

Journal Guide: Take some time to get alone today and take about 15-20 minutes to journal through these questions. Journaling is a way we pray to God, so see what God might be telling you.
1. What are your thoughts on wisdom? Do you want to seek it? Why or why not?
2. When faced with a choice, do you normally base your decision on your own selfreliance or guidance from the Lord?
3. Think about the last time you prayed through a decision to discern what was right/wrong. How did it go?
4. Take some time to write a prayer to God.

Conversation Guide: Ask three questions to your siblings and parents. We think doing it over the dinner table or right after dinner is a great time to do it.
1. How has your journey toward Godly knowledge been?
2. What regular activities do you do to help navigate what is right, just, and fair?
3. Talk about a time when you trusted in God’s promise to protect His faithful ones when making a decision.

Prayer: Read Proverbs 2 and then read this prayer by yourself:
Dear God, thank you for your undying protection and guidance as we learn more about who you are and the world around us every day. Forgive me for the times that I relied on my own thoughts and agendas to get me through a decision. Guide me in ways that I can lean into Godly wisdom as I discern what is right and just and fair. Thank you for guiding us through our lives and allowing us to have the capacity to see what is right and wrong. You are our picture of perfect love, so help us strive toward that today and every day. I love you. Amen.