"Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding." Proverbs 23:23
"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26
In Proverbs, Solomon tells us to "get wisdom". He also says that a wife of noble character speaks with wisdom.
These statements beg the questions, "what is wisdom?" and "how do we get this wisdom?"
One of my favorite things about the Bible is that if there is a question, if something doesn't seem clear about scripture, scripture will provide the answer. I love that we don't have to be afraid to question scripture because it will prove itself to be true! "For the word of God is living and active... Hebrews 4:12
But back to our 2 questions. If we are going to answer them, we need to look to the Bible. What does God say wisdom is? And how can we can get it?
For the first answer, we turn to the book of James. It's one of the tiny books at the very end of the Bible. James was Jesus' half brother. I love the way he writes. He minces no words and speaks it as it is. As I studied this book over the past few months, it became very obvious to me how much time James spent listening to the teachings of his brother, Jesus. Over and over again he speaks about the same subjects that Jesus addresses, particularly those in the sermon on the mount.
In chapter 3, James contrasts the idea of Godly wisdom with earthly wisdom.
And what do you know? In verse 17 of Chapter 3, he gives us a definition of Godly wisdom:
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
From this single verse we learn that the wisdom we desire to "get" is:
full of mercy and good fruit
full of mercy and good fruit
So I ask: how many of those words describe you?
Let's try an exercise. It's one that's often used in the "love" passage in 1 Corinthians 13. Instead of the word wisdom, substitute your name. See how well you're doing at "getting" wisdom.
My example: Jessi is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Woah. I don't know about you, but as of right now, that is not the wisdom I have, but the wisdom I want. Which brings us to the second questions: how do I get wisdom?
For the answer to this question, let's turn to John. John is the fourth gospel, the fourth book of the New Testament. In chapter 15 we see Jesus speaking to His disciples. He gives them an analogy of how we are to relate to Him. He is the true vine and we are the branches. It is only when we are in Him that we will bear true fruit. (note: It would be helpful to read the entire chapter at this point and I highly recommend that you do so)
Then, in verse 16, He tells His disciples (you and me):
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
But that verse is not a free for all. He isn't saying that we can ask Him for anything and it will be given to us. Jesus has just finished telling us that if we are His friends if we do what He commands, namely love one another.
Therefore, if we are in Him and He is in us, we are His friends. If we do what He commands, if we remain in Him, then we can ask whatever we want. I guarantee, if we are doing those things, than what we ask Him for will reflect that. We'll be asking for pure hearts, for the ability to show mercy to others, for how to love our neighbors and enemies. And we'll be asking for Godly wisdom.
And when we do, "The Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
So what needs to happen now? Do you need to be more obedient to Christ? Do you need to remain in Him and His love? Do you need to ask for purity? mercy? sincerity? wisdom?
Whatever it is, do it. I don't know about you, but I want to get wisdom.