Read: James 3:13 |
Godly Wisdom is more desirable than silver and gold. Schools and Universities do not offer a degree or certificate for Godly Wisdom. Godly wisdom only comes to the believer with a heart in the proper relationship with God.
Continuing our study on the book James, we now address the topic of wisdom in James 3:13-18. According to the dictionary, “wisdom” is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Understanding applied correctly leads to wisdom. Additionally, wisdom is more than knowing good and evil. Wisdom knows good from evil. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, we have sought wisdom. Adam and Eve succumbed to the serpents crafty assertion that eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had forbidden them to touch or eat, would lead them to gain wisdom without God’s help (Genesis 3:4-6).[The Wisdom of God, Bob Deffinbaugh]. They were the first humans attempting to gain wisdom on their own. As always, it failed and will continue to fail (Romans 16:19).
Our supreme example of wisdom is God. God is infinitely wise, he is “omniscient” (all-knowing). God is the source of wisdom and only He can apportion wisdom from above to worthy believers. Yet, there is another type of wisdom, which James alludes to as well – wisdom from below. Satan, the fallen angel, and his helpers draw people to follow his false wisdom. Wisdom from below opposes Godly wisdom.
True Wisdom comes from above – God
True wisdom reflects in our character and comes from God. True wisdom cannot be inherited or sold; God grants it to the worthy. We are worthy when we humbly seek and submit to God in prayer and fellowship. As God apportions wisdom to us, our walk and talk reflect the degree of wisdom we possess.
True wisdom sows righteousness and is:
- Full of mercy and good fruits
In his youth Solomon, the wisest man to live exemplified “true wisdom”. Daniel and his friends were granted godly wisdom (Daniel 1:17); Paul possessed it and prayed that every believer might be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we might know Him better (Ephesians 1:17). God apportions true wisdom to those who actively rely on Him.
False Wisdom comes from below – Satan
False wisdom is from Satan and seeks to derail believers and dissuade non-believers from accepting Christ. We obey God not only because we are wise enough to do so, but primarily because we trust in God and His wisdom.[The Wisdom of God, Bob Deffinbaugh]
Satan deceived Eve and Solomon into believing they could gain their own wisdom by listening to him. The Bible and our daily lives are full of examples of people who decide to try things their own way, only to fail. In essence, this approach amounts to a person trying to “sin” their way into attaining Godly wisdom – it will not work.
False wisdom leaves a believer unprepared to accomplish the will of God. James notes the fruits of wisdom from below and lists them from least to worst (verses 14-15):
- Bitter envy
- Selfish ambition
- Unspiritual, demonic
What should a Believer do?
God’s wisdom has always been readily available. The goodness of God desires what is best for us, the grace of God has already paid the price, the gift of God is offered for us each to accept, the galvanizing power of the Holy Spirit comforts and guides us and God’s grand plan directs us. Follow Him, submit to Him, and he will grant you wisdom from above.
a. Describe the danger signs that show lack of true wisdom?
b. What type of fruit does earthly wisdom produce?
a. Which of the fruits of True Wisdom noted above do you exhibit?
b. Has your Godly wisdom increased or remained the same since you were first saved?
1. If the level is the still the same or you do not know, what can you do to ensure you are growing?
2. If it has increased, share how you grew over time and how your relationship with God has evolved.
a. What fruits of wisdom do you demonstrate the most often?
b. Which traits of wisdom from below do you need to eliminate?