“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” – James 3:17.
Have you ever thought about mankind’s endless search for truth in this world? Think about it. Even in the twenty-first century, in a time of the greatest knowledge in the history of man with all the technological developments that have accelerated the rate of acquiring knowledge, the restless mind of man still struggles with discovering the reason for his existence.
Part of the trouble is looking for that answer through worldly wisdom versus Godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom leaves you empty and a bit cynical. But Godly wisdom is different. “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7) If you have been following the Lord for any length of time, you know that the world’s ways do not reflect God’s ways. The world will tell you where to look for wisdom and for happiness. The world will tell you that immediate happiness is the most important goal for your life. The world will tell you there is no absolute truth. However, God’s wisdom surpasses all of the world’s wisdom. God’s wisdom gives us focus and direction when we have to choose between what looks good, what feels good, and what is good.
Living out a life of wisdom was never designed to demonstrate our wisdom, but to demonstrate the wisdom of God. The biblically wise admit they aren’t enough, but realize that in Christ they have more than enough to equip them to live bigger, bolder, and fuller lives. When we embody biblical wisdom, we cease striving for self-sufficiency and let God take control of our lives. This requires a willingness to elevate others rather than attempting to prove ourselves to the world.
The Bible teaches us a great deal about wisdom and knowledge in addition to showing us that there is a distinction. One can gain a great deal of knowledge, but not have or exercise wisdom. However, one cannot have wisdom without having knowledge first. James tells us that “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” James is telling us that humility before God translates to humility toward others.
To gain God’s wisdom, we must pray for it, while studying and living out God’s Word. So many distractions in this world threaten to pull us away from God. If you need clear, precise answers—direction for where to go, what to do, and when or how to do it—God has the answers for you. When you do, you’ll not only find the answer, you’ll grow in your relationship with God as well as grow in wisdom. Your life will be transformed.
- How would you define “wisdom?” How is it different than knowledge or experience? What are some ways that you can recognize someone who is truly wise?
- If this week your wisdom came exclusively from your relationship with Christ and not from your accomplishments, resources, or connections, what difference would that make?