Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wisdom Test

Wisdom begins here...
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~James 3:17,18

Mankind is capable of great intellectual accomplishment, but seeing through the cloud of our own desires, biases, presumptions, and sin comes not from within, but without; it takes wisdom. Wisdom is being able to see from God’s perspective and then using that knowledge rightly. As Pastor noted this past Sunday biblical wisdom is not intellectual, but behavioral. When you read what James had to say about wisdom, you find he would agree that true wisdom is characterized by the influence it has on one’s actions.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. ~James 1:5

How do you know if you are wise? How do you know if you have biblical wisdom from above? Pastor shared with us five characteristics of true wisdom, they were:

  1. Passion for purity 
  2. Selfless humility 
  3. Readiness towards mercy 
  4. Trustworthy consistency 
  5. Refreshing transparency 

Again note each of these characteristics are evidenced in your actions not by a grade on a report card or diploma. Wisdom from above comes not from just the accumulation of knowledge, but from God…

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right. ~Job 32:8,9

Just growing older does not mean one grows wiser by default and in this verse from the book of Job, the young man Elihu explains to Job and his three friends that any hope of understanding comes from God. Today, in our world, wisdom has become the rarest of all commodities. It would seem to be in short supply, or very few really understand its value...

Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. ~Proverbs 8:10,11

Often times, when we find ourselves in need, it is wisdom that would best serve our purpose rather than some material thing. A piece of bread, or a bit of money can bring only temporary satisfaction, but wisdom has eternal value! Where then does one find wisdom? How is it acquired? I remember something the Apostle Paul told Timothy…

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. ~2 Timothy 3:14,15

One way the value of something can be determined is by what it can be exchanged for, or what it can bring you in a trade. Wisdom from Almighty God does not guarantee your pockets will be filled with gold or your life will always be smooth sailing, these are the things that the world seeks after. The Holy Scriptures can make us wise as we live out its truths, like it did for Timothy. Wisdom from God enables us to see the world is full of lies spread by the evil one and forgiveness of sins comes only through Jesus Christ. The true test of wisdom can be found in the third chapter of James...

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. ~James 3:13

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