According to dictionary.com, the word wisdom means "knowledge of what is true or right coupled with the judgment as to action; discernment".
I don't know about you, but the thought of wisdom has always been a strange concept to me. I typically think of King Solomon in the Old Testament and his wisdom. Or I'll think of wise sayings people write.
But the thing is, wisdom has been desired since the beginning of mankind.
Genesis 3:5-6, "“In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."
I also haven't ever really paid attention to learning about what wisdom means and what scripture says about it. But James talks quite a bit about wisdom in James 1:5-8 and James 3:13-18. I'm especially going to focus on the latter passage.
There are two types of wisdom: God's perfect wisdom from heaven and "wisdom" from this world. There's a distinct difference.
James 3:14-16 says, "But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice."
So, worldly wisdom has a couple of ways to recognize it:
- It comes from bitter envy and selfish ambition.
- It's unspiritual and demonic.
- The result is disorder and every evil practice.
Those are very strong descriptions. The thing is, Satan is clever. After all, he's the father of lies. He has a way of making that wisdom looking good and desirable, as seen in Genesis 3:1-6. It can be easy at times to give into temptation, thinking that the wisdom isn't folly.
Okay, so what does God's wisdom look like?
James 3:17, " But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense."
It's pure, peace-loving, gentle, compliant, fully of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.
Reality is, God's wisdom is a lot different than our picture of wisdom.
Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.' This is the Lord’s declaration. 'For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"
So, what does all of that mean for us today?
- Don't give into the wisdom of this world, it'll only lead you astray.
- If you are wondering what wisdom you're listening to, see what fruits your life is producing.
- James 1:5-6 talks about asking God for wisdom in faith.
- God's wisdom is perfect. We may not always understand, but He knows best.
I just finished reading the book of James and several themes stuck out to me. This won't be a long series, but we'll be taking a look into James!
Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever."