There’s a big different between worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom, and for some people it’s hard to distinguish the two. I’ve found out 8 characteristics of Godly wisdom that has helped me in my personal life. I hope this helps you make the right choices in life and take you to another level.
You can also hear a recent sermon below where I talk more in-depth about Godly wisdom.
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. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. –James 3:17, 18
1) Pure. Everyone seems to have a different perspective of purity. This overlaps with convictions, standards and morals. The media has their opinion of purity. The education system has theirs. Religion has theirs. Don’t forget that purity goes beyond lust and sexual sins; it also deals with lust for wealth, comfort, recognition and power. On the other extreme lies the distortion called self-righteousness. When we overshoot our goal, we often become proud of our ‘moral achievements’ and like the Pharisees, we may be in danger of becoming too rigid and overly strict on others.
Question: Where do you develop your definition of purity and where do you get it from?
2) Peace-loving. Godly wisdom always seeks peace. Words we say that are meant to hurt or injure don’t create peace. Peace entails qualities such as friendliness, calmness, contentment and harmony. Human emotion allows wisdom to become tainted with hurt, resentment, and ideology. Poor wisdom seeks an outcome at the expense of peace. True wisdom allows peace as the words are allowed to grow the recipient over time. The opposite of peace-loving would be fussy or disagreeable. Times when we are hungry or tired may test our peaceable spirit. When we seek to put others down or desire to impress others, there is disorder and every kind of evil. The distortion of peace-loving, on the other hand, is compromise. In all our peacefulness, there are times when we need to draw hard lines. Our challenge is to discern where the boundary line between peace and compromise should be.
Life Lesson: Wise people don’t foster division. Instead they work to end strife and turmoil.
Question: How can we be at peace with people without letting them take advantage of us?
3) Considerate. A willing person is helpful, available and accommodating. He or she does not easily object to do a favor for someone. In the Bible, we find that Jesus never turned down a request for healing, although His timing and testing of faith often confound us. The whole story of Jesus was one of constant availability! The opposite of willing is uncooperative and the distortion of willing is to be a ‘yes’-person. Again, our challenge is to find the right balance to avoid both extremes.
Life Lesson: Wise people put the needs of others ahead of themselves whenever possible.
Question: In what ways can you improve in placing the needs of others above yours?
4) Submissive. A submissive individual is someone who gives up their rights and their free will to be controlled by another. When we obey traffic laws, we are being submissive to the law enforcement agencies and yielding our own preferences to those in authority. We are all being submissive in one way or another, even if it’s yielding to traffic which has the right away, paying our taxes, or agreeing to work certain hours, performing certain tasks for an employer. We are being submissive when our employer asks us to do something and we do it. Christians are commanded to live a life of submission to those who are in governing authority. Paul writes about this in Romans 13:1-2, 6; Hebrews 13:17, and 1 Peter 2:13, 14.
Question: What does submission to God mean to you?
5) Full of Mercy. The world encourages us to get even, to demand our rights and to give others only what they deserve. But mercy shown in Christ is different. Mercy is often equated with compassion but is supremely demonstrated in forgiveness. This is because forgiveness requires something beyond sympathetic feelings.
Life Lesson: Wise people demonstrate compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to others.
6) Full of Good Fruit. True Godly wisdom should be accompanied by true Godly outcomes that resemble those of the spirit. God’s wisdom yields Godly results. If poor results come from what we consider Godly wisdom we must see where that wisdom falls short of God’s standard. The best wisdom is fruitful wisdom. God proves on a daily basis that His wisdom is perfect and it is the reason we are allowed to be loved by Him and reconciled to Him. Being fruitful is taking action that results in spiritual results.
Life Lesson: Wise people are fair and just. They do not show partiality to others for their own benefit.
Life Lesson: Wise people are genuine, real, and honest; not deceitful, hypocritical, or false.