As you grow older, one of the attributes we seek for is wisdom. We have generally had enough experiences where we were embarrassed by our "foot in mouth" disease to want to be known as a person who has wisdom, not foolishness coming out of their mouth. Yet, how do we become wise? Is it found in books, or by sitting at the feet of wise people? Is it a natural by-product of age? Do we arrive at wisdom just because we become a grandparent? Sadly, none of these things automatically guarantee a heart of wisdom.
The Apostle James had this to say about wisdom:
13-16 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. James 3:13-16 (MSG)
I read several versions of this verse before I chose the Message translation. None of them got this kind of clarity; this down-to-earth, up-in-your-face reality. Talk is cheap; what makes the difference is how we live! It may not look like good guys don’t finish first, but when the deal goes down – they do! We hear this throughout the scriptures, but an Old Testament scripture that really points this out is in the book of Micah:
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
9 The Lord‘s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: Micah 6:8-9an(KJV)
Walking in humility is not a natural state for mankind – it takes the grace of God. To walk justly, and to seek mercy, not vengeance are also not natural attributes, we seek not only to be treated fairly, we seek vindication for unjust words or treatment.This is man in his natural state. However, when the grace of God comes into our lives, when the love of God comes in our lives, we don’t seek our "own" – we seek the good of all. Our world expands. We don’t just see the small view before us that is a reflection of our wants and our desires, we see a bigger picture, where God not only loves the whole world, He wants us to love His world too! In order to do that we need other attributes to surface, like compassion and understanding; gentleness and kindness; a slow response, a soft answer:
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. James 3:17-18 (MSG)
Selah (Pause and think about this)