Scriptural Text: James 3:13-18
Other verses : Proverbs 3:5-6, Luke 21:15, James 1:5-8
The entire book of proverbs is dedicated to teaching the children of God about wisdom and discipline. I do not know of any book or resource on this earth's surface that gives us in-depth instructions about wisdom than the Bible.
Let us Define " Wisdom."
What is Wisdom?
According to the world's interpretation, wisdom is insight, the ability to discern what is true or right. It is the ability to see things from a different perspective that others do not comprehend. Merriam Webster's dictionary defines it as "accumulated philosophic or scientific learning. So, only an academic scholar or a highly educated individual can possess this wisdom. The Bible however, states in 1 Corinthians 1:27 "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong." (ESV). So those who consider themselves wise and intelligent the Lord uses things that don't ordinary make sense to the common man to shame or confound their so-called intelligence.
Now, what is godly wisdom? One of my favorite Bible Teachers of all time, Dr. Charles Stanley, defines it as the capacity to see things from God's perspective and respond according to scriptural principles.
The Benefits of Seeking Godly Wisdom:
1. Walking in God's Guidance
Those who walk in wisdom receive the Father's direction for their lives. Biblical principles spare believers several wrong decisions and hurtful relationships.
A. Question: According to this verse, what attitude best facilitates (makes easy, help forward) the Lord's direction in a person's life?
Answer: i) Trusting God completely ii). Not depending on one's own understanding of iii). seeking the Lord's will in all, not some, but in all we do.
B. Question: What benefits does this verse promise to those who keep sound wisdom in the New King James version? Also, interpreted as common sense & discernment in the New Living Translation version?
Answers: i). Refreshment for the soul ii). Protection from God iii). Peaceful night's rest- No fear iv). Security from our Lord and total confidence in Him.
When we walk in divine or godly wisdom, we can be confident that the Lord is with us always. He will not allow us to enter into any situation that He has not planned for, and neither will He permit or approve a circumstance unless He intends it for good. Let us always remember that.
2. Enjoying God's Divine Protection
Wisdom protects us from various sources of wickedness.
i. Evil (that comes in the form of dangerous situations, unhealthy associations, destructive circumstances, harmful substances e.g., uncontrolled drugs.
Question: What attitude gets a "fool" (unwise person) into trouble regarding evil based on what we have read?
Answer: i) A reckless attitude, self-fish, careless, self-confident, careless and prideful attitude etc...
ii. Another source of wickedness, wisdom protects us from is
- from people who entice one to do evil; any person who tempts you to sin is NOT a friend.
He or she wants to lead you into a situation that will eventually cause pain (physical or emotional) or probably loss.
Proverbs 2: 10-18, Proverbs 24: 1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:33
A. Question: Why should we not be close friends with those who have ungodly lifestyles based on this verse?
Answers: They have evil intentions, commit violent acts, their words always stir up trouble, they cannot be trusted, they corrupt good character with their lifestyle.
I remember when I was in my early 20s', there was this woman I became friends with. She was a very attractive lady and a bit older. She always had guys interested in dating her. She was more knowledgeable than me when it came to relationships with men, considering I had lived a sheltered life. We became quite close. She knew quite a few high society people e.g politicians, lawyers, diplomats and so we were at one social event or the other every other weekend. It took me a few years after I had renewed my relationship with the Lord, to realize my friendship with this lady who also professed to be a believer, was affecting my relationship with the Lord. Eventually, I had to politely cut off ties with this person for what other people had noticed a long time ago about her, It took me years later to eventually realize. I believed it was probably because I had thought in my heart that I could influence her to change her ways. I soon realized that it was only the Lord who can bring about that transformation in someone's life, and He will do it at His own time.
3. Good Self-Image
We are so important to the Lord. He knows each of us by name and by our individual personalities. God values and desires a closer relationship with us and He also has a specific plan for our lives. Knowing all this alone should give us confidence and a healthy self image. We have no reason to suffer from low self-esteem if we remember who we are in Christ, knowing that we are daughters of the King and are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Proverbs 8:32-35 lists a few benefits of acquiring wisdom.
Human nature as designed by God, has a desire to be loved, and it craves companionship. Only the Lord can fully satisfy that need. That is why you see the people of the world trying to fill up that void or space with all sorts of ungodly relationships or things.
Once we believe and completely trust His unconditional love for us, we will now be able to have a healthy, and godly self-image of ourselves. I do not need to wait for someone to tell me that I am beautiful, precious, or valuable because my God has already told me I am. His opinion is the only one that matters.
A. Question: Some believers feel God no longer loves them because of sin. Why is this rationale not biblical. Romans 5:8
Answer: God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for your sins for while we were yet sinners and living in darkness.
4. Godly wisdom brings about "Prosperity and Wholeness" in our lives.
Our God blesses us always, and that blessing involves not just finances, but our spirits, minds and bodies See John 3:2
Prosperity from God's perspective includes material wealth as well as relationships, health and happiness including fruitfulness in His kingdom. He not only provides for His children to enjoy alone but to share these gifts with those in need.
The last benefit we will look at today is :
5. Good Health and a Long Life
No one except the God of the universe can promise anyone long life or even healing from any type of disease. He is the only one that has the power and authority over our entire existence. His words says in Proverbs 3:7-8 that He will give healing to our bodies and strength to our bones.
Believers, who walk in divine wisdom manages their time carefully because they see each day as priceless, valuable. They seek to use their gifts, skills, talents for God's glory and purposes. Walking in divine wisdom causes you to take care of your bodies by eating healthy, exercising, getting adequate sleep and rest. I know some of us may be struggling in some areas of our lives today, whatever that area may be, know that by applying wisdom and discipline to our everyday lives, we can overcome those challenges by His Spirit and Power. Wisdom equips the believer to handle stressful circumstances and positions us to receive eternal rewards.
Brethren, let us ask the Lord to grant us His divine wisdom to living healthy, productive and well balanced lives and He will do so. According to His word in James 1:5, if we ask for it, He will generously give it to us.
I have seen how applying the wisdom of God has changed my life over the last few years.. I have made a number of mistakes in my past which cost me dearly, is it my finances, education, relationships etc. you name it; because I thought I could do it based on my own "so-called understanding and smartness" but those foolish decisions which had consequences, really affected my life and especially my relationship with the Lord. I had to rededicate my life to Him afresh and sought His wisdom to guide my every step since then. If I had not been so stubborn in my younger years, I would have saved myself a lot of distress. Still, God is so faithful that He knew I will make those mistakes and allowed it to happen to run back to Him at the end of the day, and He alone will take the glory. His word also says "All things work together for good, to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. The Lord desires us to seek His wisdom today. As you do, He shall begin to transform your way of thinking, handling situations, speech, and life in general in Jesus name.