August 30, 2015
Today's Lesson :
Nuts & Bolts: Wisdom
How would you define wisdom? It must be more than knowledge and understanding or the wisdom writers of Psalms and Proverbs wouldn’t have separated those three words out so regularly. I feel pretty sure they overlap a good deal, but evidently one can have wisdom and not always have understanding and knowledge. If knowledge is facts, and understanding is application, maybe wisdom is the overriding principle of truth that one can learn, but maybe not always know how to apply. Solomon sure messed up Israel and he was one of the wisest men to ever sit on the throne. And his wisdom came from God! Go figure?
I’ve known wise people who didn’t necessarily have a great deal of knowledge about “scholarly things” but had a great deal of old- fashioned common sense. What made them wise was having learned principles of truth, and understanding how they affected life, work, and family. Yet, even the wisest seem to make mistakes, and even sin.
James discusses wisdom, but he seems to be really talking about choices, which is the acid test of wisdom when all is said and done. The real problem—I think—is Satan’s uncanny ability to muddy the waters of wisdom to the point that we make poor choices and feel smart about it! We live in a society that is proud of destroying unborn babies, and proud of accepting same sex marriages, and proud of keeping religious convictions out of schools, government, and legislation, and labeling it wisdom. But then, we all are pretty good at rationalizing our ungodly actions and talk, to feel good about what we really want to do. That is exactly what James wants us to understand. Why can’t we be more consistent with our faith? Why doesn’t it reveal itself in our deeds and speech? It probably has a lot to do with WHERE our wisdom comes from. Is it from the world or from God?
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