Wisdom or Worldly Wit

As a younger man, I never gave damaging noise a second thought when cradling a hunting rifle against my chin, or shoving particle board through a screaming panel saw.

I wear hearing aids now.

He that hath an ear, let him hear…

It’s taken me a while to adjust to hearing with the help. With practice I’m getting better at using hearing aids to separate a single voice from ambient noise while I converse with one of my 18 grandchildren in the living room.

 In the same way, I am learning to separate the “wisdom from above” from the “worldly wit” assaulting my soul every day. Fortunately for me, God provides easy-to-follow instruction to distinguish between God’s wisdom and worldly wit. I just read it in James 3:17 (ESV).

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

In any “noisy” environment where decisions hang in the balance, we can distinguish God’s wisdom from worldly wit by asking:

Is this wisdom pure?

God’s wisdom is uncontaminated by human theses or opinions.

Is this wisdom peaceable?

God’s wisdom provides rest—even on a bed of chaos.

Is this wisdom gentle?

God’s wisdom projects grace far beyond what we consider “just.”

Is this wisdom open to reason?

God’s wisdom gives us the unnatural ability to yield.

Is this wisdom full of mercy and good fruits?

God’s wisdom generates physical effort from a heart of love.   

Is this wisdom impartial?

God’s wisdom doesn’t find personal reasons NOT to help.

Is this wisdom sincere?

God’s wisdom won’t manipulate to gain stature.

Amid the clamor of sentimentalism around us, God promises to overpower worldly wit and deliver HIS wisdom when we need it. All we have to do is ASK:

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)


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