What is wisdom? What is it worth? And most importantly, how do we attain it?
Well, the Bible has a fair amount to say about wisdom. And as such, we should know about it. It states the importance of this virtue in Proverbs 3:13-14, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” (ESV)
The Bible says that wisdom is valued above even gold, which is not an easy sentiment. Even the world recognizes the value of this trait and honors those who display it. From ancient Greek myths to modern dystopian novels, the wise old men and women are revered by any person with morality and, often-times, even by those without. The world thinks highly of wisdom and it is defined as follows: “The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.”
So, wisdom is valued immensely, even by the world. As God-fearing Christians, we need to be constantly seeking our way towards this goal so we can point others toward our Savior, to whom we owe so much. But where do we find it? Does it come with years, as the world seems to think?
Well, partly so, but we are different from them, which means that our answer is also different. We have God with us and leading us, and he tells us in James 1:5 that we can find our source of wisdom in him.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (ESV)
The Bible states that we can receive wisdom by simply asking for it. This is yet another time we see God’s eternal benevolence in our lives that displays his everlasting love toward us. God wants us to be wise, so He has promised us wisdom! This will make us into the kind of people we want to be, because wisdom is of great practical use. However, that is not the end of this passage. This promise comes with a warning. The verses continue saying, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (ESV)
We are told to trust God wholly and without reservation, because whatever we hold back will destroy us. We will be as “a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” We should trust in God and God alone, because he is the only thing worthy of trust.
Now think to yourself, how is this detrimental? How will this arrangement in any way harm you? The simple answer is that it will not. God never asks anything of us that will not better us as a person, because his love for us is pure and his knowledge is never ending. It is as though you were given this delicious treat of your favorite variety and were then told that if you want to have it, you must eat it. To not follow through with the advice given in James 1:5-6, is a great folly indeed. What decision is wiser than the decision to trust wholly and completely in God as the source of everything you have and are, including your wisdom? I can think of none, and as such I choose to actively give Him my life, will, and soul, because He knows that which is best for it.
Wisdom, then, is immensely valuable, but does it make you infallible? No. It most certainly does not. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever walk the earth, the author of some of the most wisdom packed books in the Bible, fell short of the mark in many aspects. He failed, as have you and I, because we are fleshly people. God’s love and care for us is beyond our very comprehension. We are human, yet while we sin, should we not strive to do better than we have before? Has God not earned that from us?
Wisdom says yes, and that is the answer I will pursue.