What is wisdom? Is it attainable by effort or a gift of time and chance? If you could become wise, would you be willing to do what it takes?
Who doesn’t want to be wise?
There are no shortcuts to wisdom but there is a real process that can take you to that point. The wisdom of the ages is within your grasp!
Webster’s Third International Dictionary defines wisdom as the ‘intelligent application of learning.’ When we take that definition and apply it to our lives within the guidance of scripture, we obtain wisdom.
Eight Characteristics of Wisdom
James 3:17 lists eight characteristics of wisdom.
Pure. There is no sin and no blemish in wisdom. One of the first things you must do to obtain wisdom is ask God to purify your heart. He will do it. He is pure. Jesus is pure and we are called to be just like him!
Peaceable. Contentious people are not wise! Living at peace with people is commended in scripture! As far as we can, we must get along. Fighting and arguing keep us from obtaining wisdom. We never compromise the values of the kingdom for the sake of getting along. Neither are we always looking for a fight to ensure we can prove our (theological) point.
Gentle (considerate). For wisdom, we must practice the habit of being gentle. Harsh words and brusque attitudes cause damage. That is inescapable. Instead, we must think about how our attitudes, words and actions touch people around us.
Open to Reason. Wisdom listens! We hold to God’s Truth but we listen to others. We accept that there are many things that are not directly addressed in God’s Word. For example, the Bible doesn’t tell us what job to take, who to date or marry or how to handle cybersecurity issues! Listening to reasonable presentations about life is part of wisdom.
Full of Good Fruits. The observable life of someone will show wisdom or a lack thereof! Wise living shows in words and actions. There is consistency and integrity that can be emulated.
Impartial. Influence because of wealth or position does not guarantee wisdom. There are struggling single mothers who are wise! Wisdom recognizes that we can learn from anyone.
Sincere. There is no hypocrisy in wisdom. That means where hypocrisy rules, wisdom fades!
If we are to intelligently apply learning, as Webster said, we must ask the question: what learning? As followers of Jesus the answer is simple: learning about the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God has unique values, cultures and activities. Jesus told them all about them during his time on earth. The Holy Spirit continues to reveal these things through the scriptures to followers today. So it is important to learn kingdom truth.
Read the Word. God’s ways appear in God’s Word. Accumulating the truth of God will allow you to apply the word of God to every situation in life! Spend time reading deeply. Strive to understand every word. Strive to understand the content and context of each passage you read. Slowly digest the truth.
Spend time reading wide as well. This is the rapid reading of the Bible to gain the whole story. Never stop reading deep and wide. I spend 30 minutes every day reading deep (that’s about 3 chapters, reading, rereading, highlighting and commenting) and 30 minutes reading wide (that means I read the entire Bible in about 75 days).
I challenge you to add 5 to 10 minutes each day to your Bible reading and study, right now.
Learning through God’s word is a lifelong endeavor. We can never know all of God’s truth. The application of God’s truth will always keep up with our circumstances. Feed on the truth!
Another way to enhance our learning is through prayer. Talking to God reframes our thought patterns. In his presence, everything changes. This is a little mysterious to me. I’m not really sure I could explain how it works, but it does!
Prayer lifts us into the spiritual realm where we can discern spiritual truth. Prayer allows us to hear his voice and understand his word.
We must pray deep. Fervently, in discipline setting aside time each day for one on one time with God. We also pray wide — without ceasing! Devoted time of prayer paves the way for the quick short prayers we need each day in many circumstances.
Simply asking God to help instill in you the eight characteristics we shared above, will begin to make a change in you!
The wisdom of God is within your grasp. Are you willing to do what it takes to embrace it?