According to James Boice (see last post in the series), if you asked people to honestly describe their needs, they might describe one as: “We have minds. So we have a need to know things rightly, to understand. We need wisdom.” In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus, the Christ of Christmas, is described as our Wonderful Counselor, who meets our need for wisdom.
But what is wisdom? Wisdom is about taking the right action, not about being book smart, or accumulating facts. You don’t need to be brilliant to have wisdom. Wisdom looks forward. It is proactive and specific to you. Nobody else’s situation is your situation, and nobody else has the same history, relationships, abilities, and resources. Your path is your own.
Why do we need wisdom? Because our inner conscience is not one, clear voice with the right answer. It is a jumble of influences and desires, which I’ve described as a multi-voiced “Moral GPS.” How do you even choose from among your own wants? Everyone is limited by time and resources. Also, what if your wants conflict with each other? “I love junk food, but I want to be healthy.” Also, how do you decide what is “good” to do? Who decides what is “harmful”? What if someone else’s desires harm you? Can you tell them their desires are wrong, or even disagree on what “harm” is, in a world where everyone just lives by their own messy conscience?
We are never truly free. Absolute freedom is not good, or even possible, and therefore we need a reliable filter and that is what wisdom is. Wisdom enables us to choose the best possible path from among the many choices before us. This is especially tricky as multiple paths may look “true” or “best” to us, and most paths have ripple effects we can’t possibly anticipate. In our world information is more readily available than ever before, but many people just seem more overwhelmed by it all.
Only someone who knows us perfectly, who knows every possible consequence of our choices on us and on others, and who loves us with our best interests in mind is qualified to be our Wonderful Counselor and worthy of our trust. Others can provide incomplete guidance – parents, teachers, ministers, writers, philosophers – but each of these also needs its own filter.
In the gift of Jesus as Wonderful Counselor we can satisfy one of our deepest needs: “To know the truth! Jesus Christ is the truth, and he is for us a Wonderful Counselor.” (Boice)
As God, He has no gaps in his knowledge or biases and therefore His words to us are not an inadequate abstraction or wishful thinking. He alone is perfectly trustworthy. He does not want to scold or punish you, but to guide you in perfect wisdom that only He can provide. He does not magically tell you everywhere to go, holding up signs, but desires a relationship. To walk with you and guide you to life eternal. He wants us to invite Him into our lives, and He is Wonderful.
This is the first gift of Christ in Christmas.
The next post in the series is here.
 Keller, Timothy. Making Sense of God (2016). This paragraph draws from Chapter 5.