Are you wise, or just a wise guy?

by Kyle
published June 5, 2013


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I am convinced that you and I have a friend in common. That friend who always seems to make really bad decisions, who’s always reading and talking about success, who’s always talking about the next big accomplishment — except the last big accomplishment didn’t pan out. It wasn’t that friend’s fault, though.

Then there’s that other friend I’m sure you and I both have. This person has seen some hard times. Times that the other friend can’t even imagine. Somehow, that second friend has managed to come out on top, weathered the storm and still managed to be successful.

Do you know what the difference is between them? Do you chalk it up to luck? Maybe parenting? Maybe, they were just in the right place at the right time.

Maybe it’s wisdom.

Wisdom is a funny thing to put your finger on. Definitions and types vary wildly.

In Proverbs 8, God gives a voice to Wisdom to explain what wisdom is and reveals in verses 27-31 that wisdom, according to the Bible, is the knowledge and application of the principles by which God designed the world to work.

When you consider how little of the world — culture, business, government, even the church, etc. — functions as God would have it, wisdom becomes more rare and valuable and beautiful. In fact, Solomon goes on to say in Proverbs 16:16 that it is better “to get wisdom than gold.”

If you really accept the idea that wisdom is more valuable than gold, you might be surprised to know that God gives it away free to anyone who asks.

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

You may have noticed about the first friend we have in common that they seem to want wisdom, and may even ask God for it, but proceed to look everywhere other than God for it.

James 1:6 says that you must “ask in faith without any doubting.” Otherwise, you will be like that friend we both know: “driven and tossed by the wind double-minded [and] unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6,8)

Faith in what, though?

According to 2 Peter 1:3, in Christ, the human race has been given everything we need “pertaining to life and godliness.” I’m going to assume that you want to live your life the best way you can. It seems that the best way is delineated by wisdom, which was set down by God and lived out by Christ.

The big question of James 1:5-8 seems to be, “Faith in what?”

The clear testimony of Scripture is that real wisdom comes from faith in the God of the Bible and trust in who Christ is and what he did on the cross. Further, it comes from trusting and obeying what God has revealed in Scripture to be those foundational principles of the world.

There are people who have been gifted with wisdom apart from Christ, but I am certainly not one of them. Since it’s how the world was designed, some people are smart enough to just recognize it.

Again, I’m not. Are you?

Why not look to the only human who ever managed to live out wisdom perfectly?

Do you want wisdom when you need it? Are you somewhere in your life where you just don’t know what to do? Look to Christ.

What do you think?

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