Wisdom is a Lifestyle
Reading: James 1-5
My online dictionary defines wisdom as:
· the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
· the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
· the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period.
James gets even more specific, showing us that wisdom is as practical as a shopping cart in a grocery store. His definition of godly wisdom morphs into something perhaps quite different from what we might expect. He writes: “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. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:17, 18, NIV).
Godly wisdom is not based on human knowledge or experience. It is based on the character of God. It is pure, which explains James’s earlier statement that when we lack wisdom we need to ask God (James 1:5) since He is the only One who is pure.
Out of that purity comes a whole list of characteristics that often fly in the face of natural inclination. Wisdom is much more than knowing what the right choice is between “A” and “B.” Wisdom is godliness, a heavenly reaction to an earthly situation. Wisdom is the essence of “doing the right thing.” This makes good sense in this context since the book of James is all about the practical application of Christian principles.
We all need that kind of wisdom, and God is more than willing to give it to us if we ask.