This summer I had one of those light bulb moments. This profound "Aha" moment was, of all places, during memory verse time while I was helping with my 8 year old's VBS group. The theme for the week was "Be a World Changer" and the virtue for the day was "Be Wise" The scripture being James 3:17
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
I have always highly valued wisdom. As a teenager I remember praying for wisdom above all else. I love the story of Solomon. Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible. As I thought about this passage that I've read many times before, it dawned on me that I have valued the wrong kind of wisdom. Verses 13 to 16 told me more about that wisdom.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
Wisdom breeds humility and yields to others. It puts others first rather than self. When I examined my own desire for wisdom I squirmed as I realized that it came from selfishness and pride. To be painfully honest, I want wisdom so that I will look good. I want to be able to always know what the right thing to do or say is without ever making a mistake. I want others to like and admire me. I want to be better than others. It has nothing to do with humility at all! It looks so ugly when I write it down like that but it never seemed that way. It's so deceiving.
If you have been tracking with me this past year you know that I have been struggling to be free from resentment. The Lord's answer has been to yield my spirit to others and cultivate a servant's heart. And now I learn that God has actually been giving me the keys to obtaining the wisdom that I have prayed for all my life.
In the topsy turvy kingdom of God, the key to wisdom is found in humility. The wisdom of the world stems from pride and selfishness. I do value humility as well. I just never saw how wisdom and humility were so closely connected. In fact, it was the topic of my very first blog post.