Wise From Above

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18

“Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.” Proverbs 4:5-7

Most would not say that jealousy or conceit in itself describes wisdom, yet much of what is promoted or passed as worldly wisdom today finds its roots there. Inflated view of self begets rants, opinions, and pronouncements that are a far cry from godly wisdom. Thinking from this dark earth has little resemblance to wisdom from heaven.

For the Christian, wisdom from above is just that: it has its foundation on a different and higher plane than what is puffed and strutted out by the world. As God’s thoughts and ways are far above ours, so His wisdom both comes from, and resides in, the heavenlies where He reigns in righteous splendor. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

How do we attain it? We must train ourselves to seek God’s wisdom in the recesses of His word through regular, focused reading. In earnest, adoring, surrendered prayer, ask for it, with genuine desire and willingness to procure. Then cultivate it by guarding purity of thought and practice. Exercise gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit, and be open to reason, approaching discussions with civility and Bible study with a teachable mind. Practice mercy, generosity, and compassion, looking upon and loving others as Christ does. Implementing what we know forges truth, understanding, and wise ways deep into our habits. (Psalm 119:9; Luke 6:38; Galatians 5:22-23; James 1:5; 1 John 3:2-3)

The Lord makes available His word and Spirit, but we must search as for treasure and yield wholly to their fill. We have not because we ask not, and apply not. Godly wisdom stands out in our day, and may not be popular, but its benefits are innumerable and protections broad. (Proverbs 2:1-15; Ephesians 5:18b; James 4:2b)

What steps will we take to put away vile practices forever, and replace earthly and unspiritual influences with those from above? How will we cultivate a scriptural mindset? Do we value godly wisdom enough to make necessary changes to attain it?

“Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of your holy word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness…
Cause our faith to rise
Cause our eyes to see,
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail;
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.” ~Keith Getty and Stuart Townend (2018)

Good Father, may I daily seek and practice Your wisdom from above, and so make a heavenly difference here below.

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