As I shared in my very first blog post in this series, I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I wasn’t raised to live for God, or to know anything about Him or His Son, Jesus. I am only 21 years old, and have many more life lessons to learn. Still, somehow, I’ve been able to make many wise, Christly decisions, big and small, easy and difficult. Of course, I’ve messed up, on more occasions than I can even recount. However, I’ve also succeeded in making choices that I’m confident my Father has been pleased with. But how? If I didn’t go to Sunday School? And if I don’t have parents who truly believe and taught me the Word or anything about a Christ-centered life? And if I didn’t grow up in the church when I was growing up? How did I learn the right moves to take, or the righteous ways of carrying out my life along with all of its intricate parts?
Because by God’s grace, I have the gift of wisdom from His Spirit – and so do you.
“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom…” 1 Corinthians 4:8
Last week, we spoke about knowledge, and yes, wisdom and knowledge are alike. But they are not the same:
Knowledge(n): acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition
This definition is literal. Knowledge has solely to do with the acquaintance of things and people. It refers to simply knowing things – facts, truths, principles, people, etc.
Wisdom(n): knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight
Wisdom, on the other hand, is a little more than knowledge. It involves knowledge, but it involves putting one’s knowledge into action. Wisdom requires practicing what you learn, or relying on what you’ve learned as guidance in life’s many situations.
How do I know that you have this wisdom, too? Well, I guess I don’t. But if you’re a true follower of Christ, then yes, I do know that you have this gift. And I’m so sure because Scripture tells us so.
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10
If you truly know and love Jesus, then you fear Him also. And this piece of Scripture right here tell us that if you fear Him, then you’ve already started to receive this gift from the Holy Spirit. You don’t need to have read the entire Bible yet. You don’t need to have been walking with Jesus for 70 years. You don’t need to have gone to Sunday School, or have been raised in the church, or have gone to a private Christian school all of your life. You need to truly know and fear God, and His living Spirit will give you this wisdom.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
If the wisdom that we are living out in our lives is anything other than the things listed in this verse, we’re not talking about the gift of wisdom from the Spirit. This wisdom moves us to seek purity with our actions and thoughts, it pushes us to pursue peace at all times, it causes us to deal gently with anyone and everyone, no matter where they come from or what they’ve done to us. It opens our hearts to consider the perspective of others. It drives us to offer mercy and grace and unconditional love to those around us. And all of these actions are an outpour from the deepest corner in our hearts, because the Spirit as made His home there.
Worldly wisdom tells us to do what we desire to do. It tells us to treat people the way that they treat us. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. It pulls us away from considering the feelings of others if it affects our own. It whispers revenge in our hearts.
It doesn’t touch the wisdom of the Lord, for His is outside of this world.
True wisdom is a gift from the Holy Spirit, and it can’t be achieved or received anywhere other than within a true and genuine relationship with the God of the Universe. It doesn’t come from here. It’s not knowledge – it’s the ability to use the knowledge also given to us as a gift from the Spirit, and allowing it to direct our actions in our every day life.
If you are walking with Jesus, He’s already given this to you. All ya have to do is ask Him to help you use it.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5