Wisdom or knowledge
November 18, 2021, 2:10 PM

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

 Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines wisdom as "knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it." When I started preaching, I would’ve killed for someone to say that I was "wise." Seriously, I was fresh to preaching continuously, all I had ever done before was preach a hand full of times. I was determined that if I was going to be known for something, I wanted it to be my love for the Lord and the wisdom that flowed from it. I think that wisdom was like the highest compliment I could receive because it made me feel mature and really smart. 

Looking back, I cared more about what others had to say about my words than simply communicating what God was teaching me. I think this is where many of us get stuck when it comes to the idea of being wise. We strive for things like wisdom when we need to focus our energy on pursuing Jesus. When we strive to know Him better, everything begins to flow, our words are His, and our actions support them. 

The tricky thing about this is nobody really defines wisdom. People like to throw around comments like, "You are so wise for your age," or "Really hitting us with that wisdom," and it just confuses us! Or at least it confused me. People said I was wise, but I didn't understand what that meant. I was just under the interpretation that whatever I said was good, so automatically, everything else I said had the pressure to live up to that standard, which is not how the Lord created us to live. 

When we live in the Kingdom under the rule of God's Love, we do not operate around this pressure system. Love does not pressure us to say the right thing that sounds good; love allows us to sit still, sit quietly, listen and speak when it is time, and to also speak the hard things that most don’t want to hear. Love causes things to flow out; it doesn't put pressure on us to speak well. 

We confuse wisdom and knowledge with one another, which adds to this tension. Knowledge is the information we gain from our experiences, while wisdom puts to use our accumulated knowledge. Well, how do we become wise? First, we sit very close to God's love and listen to what He has to say. After we listen, we surrender our words to Him. The things we say are not wise if they come from us. There is no wisdom gained from our words if He didn't speak them first. 

Finally, we trust His timing and His Spirit nudging us to speak or move. Wisdom at its core is the question, "Does this complicate God or help others to understand Him more?" It's not twisting words to make us sound knowledgeable, but taking a complex situation and explaining it in a simple way so that everyone can understand. Wisdom doesn't shut out; it invites. 

Pride keeps us from experiencing godly wisdom. It whispers to us, "You are so smart, look at you go, you should keep being smart and sounding good, keep that up, don't forget to say this next time, so you sound better and touch more lives." It doesn't sound like a bad voice until you understand that it is selfish and self-seeking. Wisdom sounds more like this, "Hey, remember that thing you went through a few weeks ago, and I gave you some words to understand it better? You should share that! 

But don't forget that you are not the one who came up with it. It was only revealed to you by your Father in Heaven! Seriously, share it though, I think it could help!" Wisdom takes the pressure off of us to speak well and puts all the attention on Him, where it should be. Are you forcing your words or has God giving them to you to bring light and understanding? 

Prayer: Father God, thank you for this day You have given me. Another day to turn my eyes towards You, to listen to You, and learn from You. Thank you for the gained knowledge that you have revealed to me through my experiences and how it all points back to Your faithful love even when I don't quite understand how. Help me Lord to remember that when I speak, it is not my words that I echo, but Yours. Silence my pride and let me not be caught up in the glory that my words and actions could receive, but offer them as a sacrifice to love You and Your children more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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