By Dave Jean Louis
Wisdom is often understood as a quality or trait obtained from life’s experiences. It is generally attributed to older members of society. However, occasionally a young person may be found and identified as an “old soul” – an expression which describes the young person’s mature demeanor and his/her acquired and demonstrated wisdom so early in life. A wise person is understood to have developed sound judgment and to become knowledgeable over time. In any event, emphasis is primarily placed on life’s experiences, commonly known as “life’s lessons.” This understanding while sustained by the majority, discredits the source of wisdom, which, in its truest form comes from God alone and is not self-serving, as many are led to believe.
Wisdom can be best described as the application of knowledge. The Bible teaches us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Therefore it is safe to say that there is no wisdom without the acknowledgement of God as Lord. The text goes on to state that “fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It can then be concluded that those that do not recognize God as Lord could be deemed foolish, haters of wisdom and sound teaching. They often ascribe to a wisdom which is self-declared, and intentionally discredit God’s presence in all things. Romans 1:25 tells us that they “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” This in itself denies one the ability to access the Lord’s wisdom, for it can be obtained only by first recognizing and accepting His sovereignty. Too often do people live their lives without any reverence for God, thus alienating themselves from the wisdom He provides to guide their steps – unfortunately, many Christians succumb to this as well.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6. Here we find confirmation that wisdom is given by God alone, not life experiences, not tales provided by the elders of a community, nor can it be self-declared. Wisdom is a gift of God, and it can come from no other source, but from Him. God, ever so loving and gracious, gives wisdom to those who ask and diligently seek it. James 1:5 reads “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” This further confirms that God is the source of all wisdom, and when a man acknowledges and accepts his lack of it, he only needs to go to God who is always ready and willing to oblige. In this same fashion did God give wisdom to Solomon. In 2 Chronicles 1:10, we see that Solomon asked God for both wisdom and knowledge. Because he did not desire “riches or wealth or honor or the lives of his enemies”, the Lord saw it fit to give him not only wisdom and knowledge, but also riches and wealth and honor to such an extent that there was never a king before or after him who received so much from the Lord. Ecclesiastes 2:26 also teaches us that God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight. Hence, it is imperative that we ask God for wisdom and do so in faith and not doubt; for a double-minded man cannot suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (James1:7).
Wisdom, as received from God and not derived from man’s experience, can serve as the basis for our lives as Christians. It will straighten our paths, keep us safe from the counsel of the wicked and grant us favor in the eyes of the Lord. Let us seek the Lord and His wisdom while it can still be found!