Acquiring an Understanding Heart
1 Kings 3:5-15; Proverbs 3:13-15
ILLUSTRATION: The story is told about a young man of 32 had been appointed President of the bank in which he worked. He'd never dreamed he would one day be president, much less at such a young age. So he approached the venerable Chairman of the Board and said, ''You know that I've just been appointed President. I was wondering if you could give me some advice.''
The old man came back with just two words: ''right decisions!'' The young man had hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, ''That's really helpful, and I appreciate it, but can you be more specific? How do I make right decisions?''
The wise old man simply responded, ''Experience.''
The young man said, ''Well, that's just the point of my being here. I don't have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?''
The wise, elderly chairman replied, ''Wrong decisions!''1
In a certain way, Solomon was like the young man in our story--he sensed a certain deficiency in his life: He was lacking experience and wisdom. In (vs. 7), he said, ''I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.''
In (vs. 9), he said to God, ''Give therefore thy servant and understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.''
Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of wisdom? Wisdom is what we need to get along in life. We need wisdom in decision-making, in choosing friends, in developing our skills...wisdom plays a key role in shaping our character and personality. Having wisdom or lacking the same will pretty much determine our success in life, spiritually and otherwise.
Not all people are endowed with an Einstein-type of intelligence nor do all people have the Wisdom of Solomon.
We've all heard the little idioms; ''He's as dumb as a rock,'' or ''She doesn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain.''
ILLUS: It kind of reminds me of the story that came out of Los Angeles, California. Police had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn't control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words, ''Give me all your money or I'll shoot,'' the man shouted, ''That's not what I said!''2
This morning our message is, Acquiring an Understanding Heart. Let me give you three points:
I. Acquiring an Understanding Heart
II. Developing an Understanding Heart
III. Maintaining an Understanding Heart
I. ACQUIRING AN UNDERSTANDING HEART
Let me say at the outset, an understanding heart will keep us from trouble and will keep us close to God. Let me add; those who are not close to God are usually in trouble.
A. Discerning the importance
1. How important is it to have an understanding heart?
It was pretty important to Solomon. More than riches and long life and even victory over his enemies, he felt the need for understanding. By the way, of what value are all those things if yo ...
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