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We look for wisdom and advice from a variety of sources. We may have a coterie of close friends  that we rely upon for advice. You can acquire wisdom in two primary ways. You can gain wisdom before it’s needed and this may prevent you from getting into difficult situations. You may also gain wisdom after a situation as you experience the hardship from the error of your ways. The lessons you learn from hardship may go deep but the tuition of pain and regret can be high.

King David described an experience of learning from the consequences of his sin. He was seeking to solve a problem from a pragmatic perspective because he failed to demonstrate wisdom before the event. He depicts the anguish of his struggle in Psalm 32,

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (Psalm 32:3-4)

When you try to fix a problem by relying upon worldly wisdom you often go astray. David attempted to cover up his adultery with Bathsheba by having her husband, Uriah, murdered. David was so racked with guilt that he was physically and emotionally sick. He realized the only way to experience relief from his problem was to confess his sin to God,

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)

What a marvelous truth – God forgave the guilt of his sin. Are you feeling a burden from the guilt of sin? God’s forgiveness is available. David testifies of the lessons he learned from his experience,

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty  waters will not reach them. (Psalm 32:6)

As David reflected upon God’s goodness, he realized that necessity of God’s guidance in his life. He learned that God could not only alleviate his guilt when he sinned, but God could keep him from sin in the first place. He recorded God’s instruction to him,

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)

David learned that it is better to seek God’s wisdom before he acted. This requires discipline to pray and seek God’s direction rather than being led my our desires. When we seek God first we can avoid the pain and regret of our poor choices. You can do the preventive maintenance ahead of time, or you can pay the repair bill later – but the repair bill will have a greater cost. David concluded his Psalm with a joyous heart as he reflected upon the lessons he learned,

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11)

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