Wisdom: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, accumulated learning, a wise attitude, belief, or course of action.
Who is the wisest person you know? What makes them so wise? How did they gain their wisdom? How has their wisdom influenced your life? Have you thanked them for sharing their wisdom with you?
I’ve often heard people describe wisdom as “The practical application of accumulated knowledge and life experience.” It sounds efficient, doesn’t it, but how does this line up with wisdom defined in scripture?
In his letter to the churches, James not only defined wisdom, but he also clarified the kind of wisdom that comes from heaven.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3: 13, 17-18:
James connects wisdom with deeds done in humility, then goes on to clarify wisdom’s virtues:
- Pure; free from fault or guilt
- Peace-loving: relational, carefully chosen words
- Considerate: thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others
- Submissive: accommodating and obedient
- Full of Mercy: compassion is shown especially to an offender
- Good Fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Impartial: not partial or biased, treating or affecting all equally
- Sincere: marked by genuineness
Notice how the wisdom that comes from heaven is very relational, challenging us to recognize that Godly wisdom is given for the benefit of others, not just ourselves. Godly wisdom builds bridges, breaks down barriers enabling relationships to thrive.
Heaven’s wisdom is readily available, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
Furthermore, Proverbs 4:6-8 illustrates the benefit of pursuing wisdom:
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.”
If you cherish and pursue wisdom, it will protect you, watch over you, and honor you. Heaven’s wisdom provides God’s protection, provision, presence, and peace. Attributes desperately needed but seldom seen these days.
Want wisdom? Begin by doing a word study on wisdom in the scriptures. Ask God to help you listen, learn, and love pursuing wisdom. Seek the company of wise people and wise counsel. Make it part of your daily prayer; ask God to give you his wisdom; it will change your life forever.
“By wisdom, a house is built, and through understanding, it is established; through knowledge, its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24: 3-6
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