Wednesday Wonderings

Godly Wisdom by Virgil Stripes


James 3:13-18 (ESV)

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.


In another place in Scripture, Paul tells the church that if anyone lacks wisdom, he should pray, and God will give him the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit which gives us wisdom. Godly wisdom. This is not to be confused with intelligence or knowledge. All of us can gain knowledge by attending school, or reading books which are written to pass on knowledge. But the wisdom spoken of here is the Wisdom from God. Although it does not quite match the dictionary definition, I have always heard/thought of wisdom as the practical application of knowledge. Knowledge is good, but knowing how to apply that knowledge is much better.


When I was young, I helped my dad re-shingle the house. We had a pretty steep roof, and my dad took a couple ten foot long 2X4s and drilled a hole about a foot from the end of each. He tied ropes through the holes, and told me this was our safety. While working on the roof, we threw the 2X4s over the ridge. We also tied the ropes around our waists. The weight of the board with the rope pulled right over the ridge was enough to support each of us so we could work without falling off. Knowing how to lay shingles is easy, but if you don’t have a safety, one false move, and you are in trouble. I believe that my dad was wise in many ways. He knew a lot, and could do almost anything, because not only was he smart, but he was wise and knew how to apply the knowledge that he had acquired.

The wisdom God gives us pertaining to the Scripture teaches us how to correctly understand His Word. We can read it, and we learn, but we need His Wisdom to apply it correctly to our lives, and help others with it as well. Let us pray that God gives us His Holy Spirit, and that He leads us into wisdom. Let us apply His Word to our lives, that we may be pleasing to Him.

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