Take a moment and read James 3:13-18.
If you are wise then prove it! That's how James starts out this passage of scripture on wisdom. Pretty bold, right! But I love that. I really admire how James gets right to the point and you never have to guess what he's trying to say.
Many would identify wisdom with age, and although this can be true to an extent, it's not the key indicator in wisdom, as if years of book and worldly knowledge afford the mature great insights. True wisdom comes from the Bible; the one book that can truly bring you wisdom.
James says that if you are wise, prove it. How so? By humbly doing good works and living an honorable life rather than living out of a place of bitterness and selfish ambition. I know a person that strives after every worldly pursuit offered to a person and is succeeding very well in life. He has everything a person could want for his relatively young age. However, he boasts in his knowledge and how smart he is. He claims it as a trophy to overshadow others. He even goes to church on Sunday to wave the flag of his righteousness while he indulges in the world the other six days of the week. This person would claim he is wise beyond his age and smarter than most. Yet folly, ill treatment of others, and boasting say something very different.
While the world, and he, may claim wisdom, James 3 paints a very different picture of it. In fact, it's the very opposite of the above. True wisdom is pure, honorable, humble, gentle, and peace-loving. And these attributes can only come from a life pursuing Christ.
Do you long for wisdom? Ask for it and look for it in the Bible. Proverbs 8 describes how wisdom stands at the crossroads, at a very prominent location, and calls out to us. It's not necessarily hard to find and yet few do. Why is this?
In verse 13 we are essentially told that it's not enough to speak words that sound wise, but to live it out. And living anything out is always harder than saying so, am I right? Living out your life in a way that represents Christ, what the Bible says is virtuous living, and the mentioned attributes in James 3 takes true wisdom.
The Faithlife Study Bible puts it this way,
Living out a godly life is true wisdom.
I crave wisdom each and every day. I don't know about you, but I'm in over my head in pretty much every area of my life so I KNOW I need God's insight, guidance, and direction. That comes from admitting I don't have all the answers, spending time with Jesus, and spending time in God's word. That's the key for each and every one of us in making it through the day in grace and wisdom.
- Does this change your idea or definition of wisdom? If so, how do you define wisdom now?
- Do you long for wisdom? Solomon asked for it and it was given to him. If you long for it ask God today and each day after for it.