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Growing in Wisdom

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 ESV


An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom. "Done!" says the angel and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, "Say something." The dean looks at them and says, "I should have taken the money."

Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen, Absolute Zero Gravity, Simon & Schuster.

Wisdom is a spiritual gift from almighty God that is not coveted by most but is needed by all. The lack of wisdom can lead to self-destruction. Human beings need the wisdom to control their emotional responses to the things that impact us. Without wisdom, a simple misunderstanding can lead to an international military conflict. Many of the catastrophic events transpiring on the national and international scene are due to a lack of wisdom.

My definition of wisdom is “spiritual insight from God to make decisions that are profitable to us and our surroundings.” Wisdom compels us to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. It gives us the emotional intelligence to seek understanding when we are dismayed or when we are uninformed and not be punitive or self-righteous in our reactions.

In today’s text, the writer reminds us that God is the source of all wisdom. God does not want us to live in imprudence. He has made the gift of wisdom available to all without reproach. All we have to do is ask. So, when we face difficult decisions or do not know how to manage a challenging situation we should pause and ask God for wisdom. God will not refuse the gift of wisdom to anyone who asks in sincerity.

The Lord has also placed people in our lives to help us grow in wisdom. In Proverbs 19:20, we are exhorted to “Listen to advice and accept instruction, so that you may gain wisdom in the future.” The wisdom we need to make godly decisions can often be found in the council of some of the godly people in our lives. Colossians 3:16 also encourages us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

The word of Christ should permeate every thought, action, and decision of the believer. It is God-breathed useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As messengers of the good news of Jesus, we can reflect His wisdom simply by repeating His words as captured in scripture.

Growing in wisdom is not an academic exercise. It takes more than book knowledge to grow in wisdom. Some of the wisest people I know are not scholars; but rather God-fearing, Bible-believing saints who have devoted their lives to glorify God. Their wisdom is evident in the way their love for God and others and in living Christ-centered lives.

Questions for Personal Reflection

Who do you listen to when you need to make a wise decision?

Why is wisdom so important for Christ-centered living?

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please grant me the wisdom to live a Christ-centered life to your glory. Please help me to be thoughtful and loved-centered in my relationships. Give me the understanding to know from who I should get advice and instruction to make wise decisions.

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