Where can wisdom be found?
Through the centuries philosophers have asked that question, and attempted to define and redefine wisdom. Through various means they sought after true understanding and enlightenment; a mind and heart full of not just knowledge of facts, but discernment of the truth of the world around them, leading to peace, joy and contentment.
While you and I may not be philosophers pondering the great questions of the universe, we probably do some pondering over where we can find a little wisdom. We may not be looking to obtain wondrous enlightenment, but we would still like some wisdom for our day to day lives. Our questions of what job to take, how to handle certain tense situations and relationships, whether or not we should date that guy or go to that college or move out of our parents’ house could use some wise answers… answers that will lead us to peace, joy and contentment.
In Job 28, we find this question of wisdom asked, and also answered:
In this passage, we see the value of wisdom. It is beyond the price of any precious gem or stone. No amount of treasure can compare with the value of wisdom. It cannot be bought, because nothing can measure up to its worth.
In the verses preceding this passage, the lengths people go to discover silver or gold is described. The work and effort and sacrifice they put into unearthing hidden treasure. And here wisdom is being described as an even greater treasure. No wonder so many have asked Where can wisdom be found? For wisdom is something to be desired and sought after.
Wisdom is found in fearing the Lord. Not a terrified, frightful fear, but a reverent awe. This type of fear causes us to trust in the Lord as our Savior and Father, and submit to His ways as our Sovereign King.
The book of Proverbs is known as the Book of Wisdom. In fact, Proverbs opens with these words:
Proverbs 3 calls us to seek wisdom, and speaks of the blessing wisdom brings:
As followers of Christ, we are to desire and seek after wisdom. Wisdom is not simply knowledge of what is right, but acting in righteousness. It is not only making good decisions, but godly decisions, those aligned with God’s character and will, even when they seem contrary to common sense and human logic.
In Jams 1:5 we are promised, “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.”
When we seek God’s will in our lives, He gives us the wisdom needed for our day to day situations and questions. And when we follow His wisdom, we find real peace, joy, and contentment in Him.
Later in James, we find a description of the wisdom God gives:
We can use this description to help us in discerning if our decisions and actions are indeed wise. Are they pure not only in action but also in attitude and motive? Are they peace-loving even in the midst of stress and conflict? Are they considerate of others and their needs? Are they submissive to God’s will and aligned with His Word? Are they full of mercy and forgiveness rather than vengeance and grudges? Are they allowing us to bear the fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23) Are they just, fair, truthful, and genuine, rather than prejudiced and deceitful?
Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, and grows as we grow in relationship with Him. We should never stop seeking the wisdom that comes from heaven, trusting God and submitting daily to Him who gives generously such a treasure.