Where does someone get wisdom? Some people say that you gain wisdom from experiences as you age. Some people believe you get specific wisdom by becoming an expert at something. For example, if you are an expert at investing money, you can make the right decisions based on that knowledge. And some people believe you get wisdom when you continue to learn because knowledge helps you make good and wise decisions. These common beliefs are true to a certain extent. Bias is a problem with experiential wisdom because it is often based on a faulty worldview or perspective.
The dictionary.com (2022) definition of wisdom says it is to know what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action. This definition means you make choices based on what you judge as true and right. For example, if you believe you should avoid drinking alcohol because getting drunk impairs your brain, that is a wise decision based on truth or fact. The problem is that the dictionary definition can be applied to any personal truth or what you may believe is right. For instance, I think it is right that everyone does their fair share of the work around the house, but in reality, everyone has their biased idea of what is fair. Read my posts on fair bias, What is Wrong with Fairness?
Worldly wisdom is based on your standard of truth, which is based on false beliefs. We have different political parties because each party believes its truth is right and just. Political leaders make decisions based on their biased understanding of truth. The definition of truth is an idea that conforms to a fact or reality. Again, truth is often subjective. Therefore, true wisdom is based on God’s truth found in the Bible because God’s standard is perfect, good, and just.
Evidence of the two kinds of wisdom.
In part one, we learned the difference between worldly and godly wisdom. In James 3:14-17, we learned that someone with worldly wisdom is envious or jealous because they feel it isn’t right that another person has possessions and advantages they don’t have. Jealousy leads to hate, malice, and arguments. Worldly wisdom also involves selfish ambition, where a person thinks it is right to satisfy their selfish wants and desires at the expense of others. Pridefulness is the guiding force behind worldly wisdom. Read my post called, How Pride Destroys. James 3:16 states, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice [evil work].”
On the other hand, the hallmark of godly wisdom is humility which is displayed by the purity of thoughts; seeking peace; being gentle even when wronged; can listen to reason; is merciful by not returning evil for evil. Godly wisdom seeks to do good to everyone and is impartial in their decisions. A person with godly wisdom will be sincere. Where do we get godly wisdom? Job 28: 12-13 states, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.”
In part two, we learned how the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and what the fear of God was. We learned that the person who fears God will praise Him for all the great things He has done. They will faithfully serve Him by being attentive to what He wants. When you fear God, you will trust Him because you know He will help and protect you. Those that fear God will obey what He says to do. And, lastly, to turn from every evil thing that harms others and do good, which seeks to do things that are helpful and beneficial to others.
God is the source of wisdom.
Because God is the source of wisdom then you must be submitted to Him and make Him the center of your life, otherwise, you won’t have His wisdom. An unsubmitted life is just a casual relationship with God where you live outside of His will and wisdom. Are you reading your Bible to know God’s truth? Are you praying about everything that touches your life instead of complaining and arguing? Most importantly, are you a child of God? John 1:12 states, “But to all who did receive him [in their hearts], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Ephesians 3:17a states, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” I can go down so many thought trails, but I will leave you with this encouragement.
The Bible explains how God is the source of wisdom. Therefore, we can ask Him for wisdom. James 1:5-8 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Read my post called Unanswered Prayer? Doubt or Faith to learn more.
Carefully read the next passages and note the things that stand out to you. What do you find significant about each passage?
And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. –1Kings 10:24 (Solomon asked for wisdom.)
With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. – Job 12:13
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24
As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. – Daniel 1:17
I pray that you submit to God’s ways and will for your life and that you seek Him for wisdom to know the truth and do what is right in His eyes. I pray that you meditate on God’s word day and night and grow in knowledge and understanding of His will for you. And I pray you will continue to rejoice always, pray about everything, and be thankful in everything, to cultivate godly wisdom in your life.
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