But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

James 1:17 ESV




What Does Godly Wisdom Look Like in Real Life?

We all know that wisdom is valuable.  How do we know when we are being given advice or wisdom?  What's the difference between knowledge and wisdom?  Knowledge is simply facts.  Someone who has book smarts.  Wisdom is full of experience, foresight, and application.  Godly wisdom must be coming from a person that is pure of heart.  What is their motive?  Motive matters, and a motive that is not Godly disqualifies it from being wisdom. A person giving wisdom is looking to bring about a Godly resolution.  They aren't looking to increase the drama or put gasoline on a fire.  They're peaceable and they are gentle when they approach the solution. They are always truthful, but impart that truth gently.  If the person giving you "wisdom" is harboring anger or bitterness when they speak to you, they are not imparting wisdom. A wise person is reasonable, not erratic or overly emotional.  They are impartial, not taking sides.  They look at the situation and guide you to what God would want done, not what they want done.  There's no agenda other than God's agenda.  There's also no condemnation.  A wise person is full of mercy, understanding that all sin.  Someone coming from a mindset of condemnation is not having pure motive.  Lastly, their recommendations will produce good fruits.  That doesn't mean it isn't hard, but that it is what God wants and will produce Godly fruit.

This is a pretty high bar to reach!  Up against this verse, it appears that we really don't receive much Godly wisdom from people.  And that would be true.  Most of what we receive from people is advice. Sometimes, it sounds Godly but it isn't.  Godly wisdom points you to God.  Advice stems from the person. So when you are working through something and someone gives you a recommendation, take some time and compare it to this verse.  Is what they're giving you wisdom or advice?  How does it stack up to God's word?  Are they pointing you to God's word?  When seeking Godly wisdom, it is worth taking the time to evaluate what they are saying.

If you want to take it further, you can do a Words of Wisdom journal.  Simply make categories (you can add a category whenever you want) and put the Bible verses into the appropriate categories.  For instance, one category might be "Money."  Every time a verse has to do with money, you write it under the category.  As time goes on, you will have a journal of wisdom from the Bible organized in an easy to find way.

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