The newspapers a few years ago carried the tragic story of a young high school student in Fort Worth, Texas who decided to play a game of Russian Roulette.  He took a .38 caliber revolver out of the glove compartment of a friend’s car, emptied all the bullets out of the chamber, put  only one back in, and gave it a spin.  Then he put the gun up to his temple, pulled the trigger, and fired it.   He died in a hospital a few hours later.  And I’m sure your reaction to that is essentially the same as mine.  For the family and friends there is, of course, deep sympathy.  But concerning the deed itself, I’m sure we’ll all agree, not how bad, but rather, how foolish.  What a tragic and needless waste of a young life.

Your mistakes and mine may not be so dramatic and final and fatal, but the principle remains the same.  Time and again, we are faced with issues where we must choose between the sensible and the foolish.

Let us suppose that there is someone we know, or maybe someone who is reading the article, who is trying to decide what to do with the gift of sexuality.  Basically, two options are available.  One is a series of brief and promiscuous sexual liaisons.  The other is a real home where two people love each other so much that they do not want to love anyone else in the same way.  That love deepens into friendship, produces children, expresses itself in trust and loyalty and fidelity, and in the twilight of life, grows more beautiful with every passing year.  Faced with those two  choices, for a person to play around with promiscuity is not only wrong, but incredibly stupid. 

So many of the big issues of life confront us with a choice between the sensible and the foolish.  Thus, Jesus  appeals to you and me to cultivate and exercise wisdom, not only to be good but to be wise.

One of the most predictable things about life is its unpredictability.  We don’t know what tomorrow holds; no one does but God.  And it’s good common sense to make reasonable allowance for the unexpected.  That’s the reason you carry collision insurance on your car.  You don’t intend to have a wreck, but you know that it could happen. 

Jesus tells us the same kind of thing.  It takes more than money to meet the emergencies of life.  There are some crises that all the wealth in the world would not see us through.  We need spiritual reserves; we need moral and ethical values; we need the common sense that is born out of wisdom. 

But there are some things in this life that cannot be transferred from one person to another, however much we might desire to do it.  We can learn from each other.  We can be inspired by the example of another person.  But the really important things are non-transferrable.  We must bring them with us.  You may inherit your father’s fortune, but you cannot inherit the honesty and determination that enabled him to build it.  Those are traits of character that belong only to those who pay the price for themselves.

Faith and hope and courage are intensely personal commodities.  When the crisis comes, you haven’t got time to go and get them, and there is no way to borrow them from someone else.  So, you had better make them your own and carry them with you always.

What about you?  What are you doing to gain wisdom?  What are you doing to put into practice all that Jesus has taught us?  Jesus wants us to be good, but he also wants us to be wise.