Wisdom in life is something everyone desires, but as a Christian our goal should be wisdom given us by the Lord. Receiving that wisdom partially comes from reading our Bible, but that is only part of the equation. You can read and study the Bible, but true understanding is a gift from God. So to move down the path of Christian maturity and gain the wisdom of the Lord, it takes prayer. Now think about it, what kind of God would we have it we did not receive wisdom when we asked for it? If we commit ourselves to Him and ask for wisdom and understanding, we will receive it. He is a loving God and there are some types of prayer that our Lord will always answer. For example, when we come to the Lord asking for forgiveness and salvation, He will always give us His saving grace. It is the same thing with wisdom. In our life long journey to maturing faith, we are often confronted with issues and situations where we have to make a choice on what to do. This is where the Lord’s wisdom comes into the picture and we are given guidance, if we are looking for it.
There are two types of wisdom, that which the world recognizes and the one from above, which is very different. In the third chapter of James, wisdom is defined both in the worldly and in a Godly sense. What is interesting is how wisdom in both cases is explained by actions we take as an individual. In verse 17, heavenly wisdom is described as pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, produces good fruit, impartial and sincere. In contrast to bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, boasting and disorder coming from people who are considered having worldly wisdom. In James, he goes on to say a person with heavenly wisdom will “show it through his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom”.
It is amazing how there are so many authors in the Bible, but the teachings all fit together in one message. But then there really is only one author, just various people to put it on paper. An example from another part of the Bible that fits into the discussion on wisdom is the one about how the first will be last and the last will be first. If you look at the qualities of the people around you who are strong, educated, powerful and seem to have it all and compare it to the qualities of wisdom as taught in the Bible, it will make you rethink what you should be striving for. If people in the world were to judge who is wise, do you think they would pick people with qualities like peace loving, considerate, submissive, merciful, produces fruit for the Lord, impartial and sincere? In fact, I think people in our society with these qualities are often looked upon as being weak, but not in the eyes of the Lord.
This is the reason we must always be seeking direction from the Lord, because what we have been trained to think is important may very often be different than the way the Lord expects us to act.
In the car I use my GPS to keep me from getting lost but I also use it in prayer when asking for direction from the Lord. I always pray for Guidance from the Lord, then Patience to wait for His guidance and then the Strength to follow through on what He asks me to do. So ask the Lord daily for His wisdom to guide you through each day as you navigate through life.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant: What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit www.CatholicOrProtestant.com
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