“In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night: and God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.” (And Solomon replies:) “…Give…your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and bad…’ And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.” (1 Kings 3:5, 9-10)
Of all the things King Solomon could have asked for, he asks for “this thing” that is wisdom; that is, “discernment between good and bad.” What is remarkable to me in this well-known passage is not primarily that the young Solomon (who was just a boy at the time) valued wisdom above all things, but that he recognized that it is a gift from God.
So – I need to ask God for “wisdom” or “discernment.” And I must say, as I get older, I increasingly see the need for it in my own life. I often simply don’t know what is truly a good thing, a good decision, and what is a bad one. I am not sure how to understand a certain situation; whether I should try and change it, or just accept it. I sometimes don’t know when to say something, and when to shut up; when I need to tackle my work, and when I need to just be still and do nothing; when I’m truly being helpful, or just people-pleasing. And so on.
Today I remember to ask God for “an understanding heart,” and the wisdom to “discern between the good and bad,” before all things. Because this is a gift from Him, and it pleases Him when we ask “this thing.”