“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.”
–James 3:17 (ESV)

Have you ever faced an all-important decision, with no idea where to turn? Perhaps you talked to God about it, but you didn’t seem to get any response. Could it be that you really don’t know what godly wisdom entails?

Godly wisdom is something we all want if we are true believers in Christ. James gives us some of the characteristics of godly wisdom in our opening verse. But many times, we really don’t know what we’re asking for when we declare our desire for godly wisdom. So let’s dissect our opening verse to get some answers.

First, James says that God’s wisdom is pure. What does this mean in our daily lives? It simply means that asking for God’s wisdom in any given situation is not just a casual request. We must ask God to cleanse us of our own selfish desires before we can receive His wisdom. In other words, God’s wisdom is untainted by sin, the world, or the flesh, and He can’t put it into an unclean vessel. But as sinful human beings, we often ask for wisdom with impure motives in mind. Much of what we are praying for doesn’t come from a pure heart, and James says that we don’t get what we ask for because our desires are brought on by our own sinful appetites.

Secondly, James tells us that God’s wisdom is peaceful. Our Lord is a god of peace and stability, instead of confusion or chaos. In order to see this for yourself, all you have to do is look at the universe and all the beauty and order that it contains. God wants you to have the peace that we are speaking about when you have to make those all-important decisions in life.

Thirdly, God’s wisdom is gentle, and not harsh at all. It’s true that God sometimes has to teach us hard lessons, but His teachings are always mixed with gentleness and mercy. This gentle and merciful quality is important, because many people believe that God is a stern taskmaster. Satan doesn’t want God to be known as the Lord of love which the Bible depicts. God’s wisdom is also flexible, as He becomes exactly what you need in each situation you face. He is a merciful God who wants to bless you, and He doesn’t show any prejudice.

Now that we know about some of the things which make up God’s wisdom, we should strive to increase in it. We can do this by simply asking Him to help us look at life from His perspective. Your prayer to God can be as simple as asking him for the wisdom to make the right decisions in life, or help you get through a particular problem you’re facing. Alternatively, you could study wisdom in the Bible (Proverbs contains lots of references to the characteristics and signs of wisdom). Then pray to God, and ask Him to give you more and more of His perfect wisdom as you go through life. Wisdom may be a vague term to some people, but you will never regret asking God to guide you through life using His own pure, pure,

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You may also send your donation to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

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peaceful, gentle and merciful wisdom.