We have all seen a lack of wisdom in our world today. Reality TV was originally such bizarre, bad behavior, but now life imitates TV and these actions are becoming the norm of society. James describes the wisdom of this world as having “envy and selfish ambition…disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:15-16). Now our culture has shifted to the point that we are seeing these behaviors played out among even our family and friends. My wife, Linette, recently had a conversation with a young adult family member and was told that this is just normal behavior.
So how are we to be wise in such a world? The first step is to ask God for His wisdom. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (NIV). God wants to give us wisdom and will give it generously! The Broadman commentary refers to this request as one of the secrets to an effective prayer life. In the Old Testament, God offered Solomon anything he wanted and Solomon asked for wisdom. We as believers need the wisdom of Solomon to navigate today’s world.
So what is wisdom? Is wisdom more about “being” or “doing”? Of course it is both, but the book of James, which has been called wisdom literature of the New Testament, advocates primarily for wise actions.
Dave Ramsey, author of Financial Peace and Total Money Makeover, often states that our money problems are not a math problem, but a behavior problem.
In the same manner, being wise spiritually is a result of good behaviors such as treating the poor well, taming our tongue, and loving and respecting others. May we be good examples for others.