In addition to the wisdom that belongs to the world, there is a wisdom that originates in heaven with God. James provides us a list of characteristics of godly wisdom, and as I read through this list, several things strike me.
First, these characteristics of godly wisdom do not come naturally to me. In fact, my normal nature is the exact opposite of each of these characteristics. I am not normally considerate or submissive. I can be both for short periods of time…but it requires exertion from me.
Second, James’ list is more like a list of personality qualities rather than what I would think of as a description of wisdom. None of these qualities require intellect; they require humility. While earthly wisdom emphasizes knowledge, intellect, and competence…heavenly wisdom emphasizes certain character qualities.
Earthly wisdom emphasizes the mind while heavenly wisdom emphasizes the heart.
Third, these characteristics are focused on my ability to relate to others. While earthly wisdom focuses on my ability to navigate the world and improve myself, heavenly wisdom focuses on my relationship with others and my ability to improve them, which eventually improves me.
Earthly wisdom is about me and heavenly wisdom is about everyone including me.
Finally, heavenly wisdom is imparted to us…not something we learn.
Heavenly wisdom is not gained with time or with age.
It does not automatically become part of a long life.
This wisdom is gained only through an ongoing relationship with God because it is imparted by and through the Holy Spirit. But first we must be open to having our hearts changed. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us this wisdom.
And it is God’s desire that we grow in heavenly wisdom.
But God doesn’t impart heavenly wisdom into our hearts while we sleep. He changes our hearts through the experiences He brings into our lives…often in the form of challenges.
So as those experiences and challenges enter your life, remember that God may be at work imparting heavenly wisdom. Open your heart so that heavenly wisdom can pour in.
Prayer: Lord, open the eyes of my heart to receive Your heavenly wisdom.