Fast Devotional #16 – Wisdom
Wisdom is pure – get a hold of it!
By David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care
Proverbs 4: 7
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (NIV)
James 3: 13-18
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (v17. NIV)
There is a local education centre not far from where I live whose branding includes the word “Worldly”. The intent is to capture the essence of what it provides to the market and the outcome of being educated so the students will succeed and function well in the world.
This is vastly different to what we read today in the texts regarding wisdom from a Christian world view. Education and wisdom are not one and the same. You do not get wisdom from greater academic achievement or going to a particular university or studying under certain scholars. Our western world view is now underpinned by a belief that we will be very clever and wise people if we achieve academic excellence. Education is good and necessary; however it does not make you wise! In fact the opposite can be true; you can become more conceited and selfish the more degrees and education you attain.
The scriptures are clear – we must pursue wisdom from heaven, from the Father of lights. We do not get it from the world or from the devil. Worldly “wisdom” is full of envy, selfish ambition, and results in disorder and evil behaviour. James is very clear about wisdom – true wisdom is from the Holy Spirit. We need to seek and ask for it from our heavenly Father and he will give it to us. What he gives us is pure (no mixed motives), peace loving (does not cause arguments), considerate of others (what’s best for them), submissive (not demanding your own agenda), full or mercy (cares for other’s needs), produces good fruit (is sweet to the soul), impartial and sincere (no bias, nor makes fun of others).
Wisdom is learnt from being in the presence of the God of love. We can learn a skill and professional at a university but we learn heavenly wisdom from being in God’s presence and earnestly seeking the Holy Spirit to train us. “A man can quite easily be a master of theology and a failure in living. He may be able to write and talk about great eternal truths, and yet be quite helpless to apply these truths to the things which meet him every day” wrote William Barclay. The aim of heaven is to make us into wise, godly people who live daily in the presence of the Holy Spirit, able to meet the challenges of each day with actions that bless God and others. Above everything else, get wisdom!
Father you are the wise God who gives wisdom to those who ask. I ask you today to make me wise in your eyes and to help me to see worldly wisdom for what it is – vain and empty. Help me to understand what pleases you so that I might live my life full of wisdom and fruitfulness, for your name’s sake. Amen.