Ever since I saw the movie “Aladdin” as a child, I wanted a genie in a bottle. How cool would that be? I could wish for anything—literally anything—and receive all my little heart desired.
Boy, did I dream big. My imagination ran wild with endless possibilities. I must admit, it’d be nice to have a genie now. I fear it would corrupt me, though.
I’d be tempted to ask for enough money to buy anything, do what I want, and go anywhere for the rest of my life. Wouldn’t you? I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
In the Old Testament, God appeared to King Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you” (1 Kgs. 3:5). Solomon had the once-in-a-universe opportunity to fulfill all the wildest genie dreams a person could possibly fathom, directly from God. Amazingly, he asked for something profoundly simple and selfless: wisdom. He said, “Give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil” (1 Kgs. 3:9).
Every time I read that passage growing up, I thought Solomon was crazy! How could he ask for something so . . . boring?! Wisdom was worthless in my eyes. To Solomon, nothing could be more valuable.
He later wrote, “For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her” (Prov. 8:11) and, “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver” (Prov. 16:16).
Do we prize wisdom more than jewels? Do we desire it more than anything on earth? We should.
Wisdom—literally the state of being wise—is missing in many Christians’ lives. We make hasty decisions, speak before we think, return evil for evil, waste opportunities to do good to others, follow the crowd, and behave like children. The Bible exhorts, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5).
Let’s imitate Solomon. Let’s choose wisdom above riches, fame, or power. He’ll give it to us every single day! A genie He is not; He’s far greater. He is your Heavenly Father who “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).