Who or what is a wise person like?
Many people, when they try to describe someone who is wise, start to list things they know—usually profound bits of knowledge which have been tried and tested though time and the refining grind of real-life experiences.
I would tend to agree. That certainly sounds a lot like wisdom.
But James 3:17 (CSB) gives us something else to consider: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.”
Most of what he says has to do with lifestyle and conduct, not learning and content. Don’t get me wrong. Learning things is obviously very important. But according to James, godly wisdom includes more than that. It’s not just WHAT you know but HOW you live.
Isn’t that beautiful? Godly wisdom isn’t just knowing certain kinds of things—it’s being a certain kind of person.
Look at his list again: “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could bless the people around us with that kind of wisdom?
It sure would. Well, with God, it’s possible! And you don’t need a long list of letters behind your name either.
Wisdom is more than stuff you know; it’s who you’re known to be.
By Matthew Ruttan
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