James 3:13 (NLT) If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour fourth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise.
James, brother of Jesus, defines wisdom at two levels.
1. The lowest level of wisdom comes as a result of when you understand God’s ways. It is through this that we may have a steady life of good deeds to advance His kingdom.
2. The “truly” wise know they are not “good”. As Jesus told the rich young man in Mark 10:18, only God is truly good. The best we can do is strive to reflect Christ to the world.
God told Solomon He would give him anything he asked for. (1 Kings 3:5) Solomon was wise enough to ask for wisdom. Solomon knew himself well enough to admit that he was like a little child who didn’t know his way around. It was through Solomon’s gift of wisdom, and his trials as king, that he later observed, “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Prov. 9:10) Fear means respect, reverence, and amazement for God’s majesty and power.
Perhaps, true wisdom comes as a result of suffering and acceptance that you are not God. Job said, “The fear of the LORD is true wisdom.” (Job 28:28) I’ve been brought to the end of myself, exhausted, broken, and left with one alternative, to fear the LORD. Whether just made king of Israel, or if God just granted Satan permission to attack; wisdom is strengthened by the fire found within the storm. Totally vulnerable, exposed, right were God can finally use you. Total dependence on God is the beginning of wisdom. To finally be wise enough to know, you are not wise enough.
Loving and all-knowing God. I stand amazed in all of your glory, majesty, power, and unstoppable love. Please continue to bless me indeed. Guide me in your ways. Protect me from the evil one. Make me wise in your ways, and truly wise to know that it is you in my steps, words, and life. Lead me to those who I need and those who need you in me. Do with me what you want. I am yours. In your name I pray. Amen.