Wisdom for Living
Wise living is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. What is His best? What is His will? What are His
ways when I’m puzzled about the wise thing to do? Sometimes I find myself inexperienced
concerning the situation I face. I might lack confidence or objectivity in making the right judgment.
Hallelujah, my heavenly Father wants me to know Him and know His plan for my life. My Lord
longs for me to walk with Him in His ways. Wise living requires keeping the realization and
understanding of God at the center of our thinking. An awareness of Christ becomes centerpiece to
our core beliefs. What would Jesus do? Grows into a way of life. His desires, His motivations, His
thoughts, and His character capture our imagination. This leads to wise living, for it is Christlike
In the 40-day devotional, Wisdom for Living, author Boyd Bailey (of Wisdom Hunter Devotionals) neatly organizes scriptural lessons on wisdom into 5 distinct, but connected, areas: Spiritual Wisdom, Relational Wisdom, Physical Wisdom, Financial Wisdom, and Vocational Wisdom. Each area is divided into 8 sound principles, one for each of the forty days, filled with Scripture references, real-world examples, reflective questions, prayer prompts, and a place for notes.
The section on Spiritual Wisdom focuses on one’s personal relationship with Christ and how that is the foundation for wisdom itself; the theme of dependency on Christ is a central theme within the devotional, encouraging authentic faith and love for God to be at the heart – and source – for all the other areas. This section is full of truth and conviction, and serves as a great place to start, checking the heart before diving into the rest of the devotional.
Next, Bailey addresses the Relational Wisdom section, wisdom regarding relationships of all kinds, specifically including relationships between spouses and children. My favorite principals in this section were the last two: Relational Generosity, and Relational Investments. After nearly ten years in ministry and over a decade of salvation, I had never heard this concept before, and it’s life-changing. As Mr. Bailey explains, “relational generosity is a catalyst for God’s will because Jesus works through people.”
In Physical Wisdom, the author tackles the concept of maintaining a clean, healthful lifestyle and body in order to respect the temple God has given us. I’d be lying if I said I (a staunch junk food lover) wasn’t a tad offended by the simple truths in this section, but the factual and authoritative nature of Mr. Bailey’s writing allowed the conviction to pour over smoothly and heal quickly by the time I got to the next section. I personally appreciated principal #23, which deals with healthy emotions under subjection to the will of God. I have struggled with depression and anxiety nearly my entire life, and it’s nice to see someone break down the concept of emotion and mental health in such a concise way. The most impactful quote from this principle being “emotionally healthy individuals take captive their thoughts, understand their feelings, and control their behaviors.”
In the no-nonsense Financial Wisdom section, the author lays out a practical, generic plan for handling one’s finances in a godly way. He also addresses the clear divide between serving God and money, modeling a lifestyle of responsible stewardship, lush generosity as a lifelong practice, and a concept I’m now in love with called “being rich toward God.”
Last but not least, Mr. Bailey effectively expounds upon the subject of work and ministry as a form of work, in the Vocational Wisdom section. Whether you are in full-time ministry or work in a secular industry, the principles in this section elevate work as an offering to God, and stresses the importance of joy in work, rather than grinding away for a paycheck. Figuring out your skills, choosing meaningful work, honoring God with your efforts, and accepting your God-given assignment are all topics covered in this section.
Each day of the devotional includes several Scriptures in the text and at the end for your own study. There is also a place for notes, beautiful photos with quotes from the day, and a thought-provoking question or prayer prompt. Simply put, it’s hard to describe this book about wisdom without calling it wise! Bailey is obviously a skilled and talented teacher in the area of wisdom, and his practical, no-nonsense style of writing is able to simultaneously expose areas you may need help in while also repairing and restoring with sound biblical truth.
Wisdom for Living is an exceptionally helpful and educational tool for any Christian to add to their tool belt. At several times throughout this review process, I found myself stopping to reflect, pray, or repent regarding the realizations I made during its reading. Wisdom for Living is, in my opinion, a must-read for believers of all ages and faith levels, regardless of if you’ve been saved thirty years or thirty days, if you’re a leader or lay member, a teen or an adult. In fact, this would be a great devotional to complete as a family. The devotional is written for the audience of a married couple with children, but you can easily work around that if you are single or completing the devotional without kids.
We are pleased to award Wisdom for Living the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages.
*I would like to note that the majority of the devotional is written from what I would call a “neutral doctrine” perspective, in that many denominations of Christianity can agree with and appreciate it. However, there are a couple of comments (which I will not get into for the sake of endeavoring to keep peace) that align with a non-charismatic interpretation of the faith. As an Apostolic believer myself, I do not think this in any way detracts from the value of the book, but it is worth noting if you are very particular about that sort of thing.
Wisdom for Living is an exceptionally helpful and educational tool for any Christian to add to their tool belt.