Wisdom: The Secret After Every Success
Do you want something that is better than silver, gold, rubies and far better than anything that you may desire? Do you want long life, riches, honour, happiness, peace? There is just one thing that far exceeds all the treasures and desires of life. Only one thing that sums it all up, and it is WISDOM. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. (Proverbs 3:13-18)
However there are two kinds of wisdom: Heavenly wisdom and earthly wisdom. These two kinds of wisdom are contradictory to each other. Earthly wisdom is according to the standards of this world. It is based on human understanding and reasoning. This kind of wisdom is foolishness to God. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness (1 Corinthians 3:19). Worldly wisdom is an outcome of haughtiness, rebellion and selfish ambitions and is cursed and despised by God. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight (Isaiah 5:21).
Earthly wisdom is sensual. It appeals to the senses, the emotions and the passions. It is governed by what feels right. Earthly wisdom is demonic in nature. It originates from the devil and his angels. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there (James 3:14-16).
Earthly wisdom is filled with bitter envy and self-seeking. We see earthly wisdom in people who are after worldly success and glory. People that are ambitious, those who only care about themselves. People that are evil, who consider themselves intelligent and are very arrogant. People that seek and desire what others have and are jealous when others succeed. They are filled with bitterness and hatred. This kind of wisdom leads to all sorts of confusion and evil. It destroys marriages and families. It results in all sorts of sinfulness against God and against others.
On the other hand, heavenly wisdom is divine. God is the source of heavenly wisdom. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17). We know if we have heavenly wisdom when we display the characteristics of this divine wisdom. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18).
Heavenly wisdom is pure, it is not contaminated with sin. It seeks the will of God, instead of one’s own interest. It is peaceable, it works in harmony with God. It is gentle and kind, and looks after the wellbeing of others. It is always willing to yield to the will of God and live in complete obedience to God. It is full of mercy, quick to forgive others. It bears good fruits of the Holy Spirit, displaying wisdom by actions. Just like faith with works is dead, so is wisdom without fruits is dead. It shows no partiality, no favouritism towards anyone, but treats all men as equal with justice and love. It is without hypocrisy, every action is done with genuine faith and love for God, and not to impress people and pretend to be different from who you really are. A person that possesses heavenly wisdom is meek and humble and lives in peace.
We can attain heavenly wisdom by praying for it. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5). We receive wisdom by seeking after it and by meditating on God’s word. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
We receive wisdom when we receive Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Since wisdom comes from God, we achieve it by having reverential trust and love for God. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).
We have a choice to live as wise or as fools. To choose earthly wisdom that leads to destruction, or to choose heavenly wisdom that leads to eternal life. Is wisdom the priority, the goal and a desire of your life? Are you seeking the most valuable treasure there is, that a man can possess? It is all yours if you pursue after it, pray for it and are willing to give God the glory, and walk in humility. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).
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