“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
At our church, Convergence, we have embarked on a Sunday study of the book of James. I love this little book. It is a treasure tucked near the end of the Bible and is one of my favorites. It’s jam-packed with kernels of truth and every time I read it I discover something new.
Along with the Sunday messages, our mid-week small groups are discussing this great book. Last night we discussed this passage from the first chapter of James.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts it like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
I can think of few things more precious than wisdom.
Solomon, the great king of the Israelites, had pleased the Lord so greatly that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and offered him whatever he desired. Solomon knew the value of wisdom. It was the one thing he asked for. To this day we speak of the “wisdom of Solomon.”
Wisdom should not be confused with knowledge. Many intelligent and brilliant people are greatly lacking in wisdom and their lives reflect that. I don’t think wisdom is as simple as common sense. I beg to differ with Immanuel Kant. It’s more than organized life. It’s deeper than that. I like these definitions, from YourDictionary.com
– the quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.; good judgment; sagacity
– the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
I especially like the second definition. I think this is closest to what James is talking about.
God’s promise in this verse is so beautiful. He has promised that when we ask for wisdom, he will
-“give generously” not in little miserly portions, but abundantly
– “to all” that includes me and you
– “without finding fault” he doesn’t look at my past record – wow!
There is just one caveat to this promise. I like the way The Message words this.
“Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”
James 1: 6-8 (MSG)
At first blush that seems simple, but upon closer examination I realize I pray that way all the time. I “worry my prayers.” I am a “wind-whipped wave.” Yikes!
I need God’s wisdom. Without it life is just too much. Marriage, children, work, finances, relationships, etc. It is all too much for me to figure out.
I need to make a change from a “wind-whipped wave” to a bold believer, asking for wisdom and believing I will receive it. My heavenly Father has promised he will grant it. He is Someone on whom I can depend.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.