Who is the wisest person you know? what makes them wise?
God wants us to be wise. But what does it mean to be wise. Sometimes we get knowledge and wisdom mixed up. To have knowledge simply means that you know a lot of information about a lot of topics. But wisdom means that you know how to live life. You can have a lot of knowledge and not be wise. And you can be very wise and not have a lot of knowledge.
In the Bible having wisdom is always about having character. Do you know what it means to have character? To have integrity? Someone with character and integrity lives a life that is true, and real, and honest, and full of kindness.
Listen to how James, the brother of Jesus, describes wisdom in his letter:
James 3:17-18. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
How does James describe wisdom? What words does he use?
James doesn’t describe wisdom as knowing a bunch of facts. He describes it as a way to be. He describes it as the character of Jesus – peaceable, gentle, reasonable, merciful, full of good fruit, impartial, sincere, righteous. These are all words that describe Jesus and they should describe people that love Jesus and have Jesus living in their hearts.
Are you wise?
Are you peaceable – or do you get angry a lot?
Are you gentle – or do you pick on others?
Are you reasonable – or do you whine and complain when you don’t get what you want?
Are you merciful – or are you mean?
Are you full of good fruit – or do you disobey?
Are you impartial – or do you only hang out with certain people?
Are you sincere – or do you tell lies?
Are you righteous – or are you selfish?
Now when we look at a list like this we would probably say that sometimes we are wise and sometimes we are not very wise at all. But the good news is that Jesus was always wise FOR us, and he died on the cross for us so that even when we fail to be wise, we can still be forgiven and given more and more chances to let Jesus be all these things through us.
So how do we become wise? By trusting Jesus more and more. By knowing that he loves us no matter what. By knowing that Jesus gives us everything we need, so we never have to be selfish. Instead we can be peaceable, gentle, reasonable, merciful, full of good fruit, impartial, sincere, and righteous. Instead we can be wise.
Because of Jesus we know what real wisdom is – it is him!
With Jesus we can be wise like him.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this scene from The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda tells Luke to “do or do not, there is no try.” Talk about how Yoda is teaching Luke that belief has to precede doing. Before we can be wise, and kind, and gentle, and nice we must believe that we CAN be those things because Jesus has been those things to us.
You are the wisest person ever! Help me to be wise like you. Kind, gentle, and nice to everyone.
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