How do we know if we are following Biblical wisdom? In chapter 3 of his epistle, James sets the standard with eight qualities of godly wisdom:
First, godly wisdom is pure. False wisdom is characterized by bitter envy and selfish ambition; godly wisdom is characterized by purity of motive.
Second, it is peace-loving. Selfish ambition can start a war, but God's wisdom can bring Truth and clarity where there is chaos.
Godly wisdom is the kind of wisdom that comes from the very heart of God.
Third, it is considerate. You have strength and power, but you have them under control so that when you have the opportunity to hurt somebody, you won't do it.
Fourth, it is submissive. Being submissive means being willing to listen and willing to learn. To be submissive is to be humble and teachable, not a doormat to be walked over, but meek, so that your strength is guided and submitted to God, making you gentle and kind.
Fifth, it is full of mercy. The word used here actually has a double meaning: forgiving those who wrong us and then being willing in our hearts to help them.
Sixth, it is full of good fruit. You cannot manufacture the fruit of the Spirit. True spiritual maturity happens from the inside out for those who are indwelt by the Spirit of God and are seeking His wisdom moment by moment.
Seventh, it is impartial. Those who live by worldly wisdom cannot be impartial because they are always trying to please someone, but those who live by God's wisdom are consistent, single-minded, and authentic.
Eighth, it's sincere. A sincere person is genuine, without hypocrisy, and wears no mask.
Godly wisdom is the kind of wisdom that comes from the very heart of God, who is all-wise. As you read and pray through the Word of God continually, you will find that your life is producing purity, peace, gentleness, willingness, mercy, good fruit, impartiality, and sincerity—and that's how you'll know the Word of God is taking root.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for answering my prayers for wisdom by giving it to me generously. As I spend time studying Your Word and listening to Your voice, I know these things will begin to take root in me. Help me to prioritize that time with You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).