What is wisdom?
If you look up the definition for wisdom, you’ll find this: knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action. We can have all the knowledge in the world stored in our brains, but if we don’t know how to apply it and move that information to action, we don’t have wisdom. Basically, we can know more than the average person, but if we don’t apply what we know appropriately, we’re foolish.
The first and most important thing we need to know about wisdom is that it comes from God. Psalm 111:10 NLT tells us that the “beginning of true wisdom” is found when we fear the Lord, and then goes on to say that we’ll “grow in wisdom” when we obey God.
That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Most parents expect their children to obey them. Why? Because they see the path ahead, while the child doesn’t. As children obey their parents, they grow in wisdom, and learn that what their parents advised them to do was ultimately for their good. The same is true with our Heavenly Father—He sees what’s ahead and knows what’s best.
In James 3:13-18 NLT, Godly wisdom is explained in detail:
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. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 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.
This passage is full of rich truths for us, so let’s really digest this passage. Exhibiting godly wisdom means we are:
Honorable—We show honor to everyone.
Humble —We don’t draw attention to ourselves.
Selfless—We think of others more than we think of ourselves.
Pure—We strive to have untarnished motives.
Peace-loving—We agree to respectfully disagree.
Gentle—We consider the feelings of others before acting.
Merciful—We give second chances because they’ve been given to us.
Impartial—We show fairness to all we encounter.
Sincere—We are authentic, honest, and full of integrity.
Learning and growing as followers of Jesus is what will transform our old self to the redeemed person God is calling us to become. Growing in wisdom with God won’t always make sense to people around us. But, as we learn insights from God, we can put them into practice and influence those around us. The next four days of this Plan will give you the tools you need to begin this journey of gaining godly wisdom.