What is True Wisdom?

I have read stories about intelligent men who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of wisdom and glory for themselves. At one point in my life, I thought they were great men who have transcended the limits of human understanding and have shown the best of human abilities. I was wrong. I had the chance to read the lives of several artists and writers and was inspired by their accomplishment. Yet, I was discouraged by their own plot, their own story, which they did not have the power to recreate.

Then I asked, what was their wisdom for? If such wisdom would push an artist to kill himself, a writer to become an hermit, or a philosopher to despise his neighbors, then what was their wisdom for? "For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." (Ecclesiastes 1:18) If such wisdom would make man proud and declare himself equal with God, then I don't want the wisdom of the world. Many people have turned away from God and even denied His existence, because their newfound theories claimed man came from animals. That is foolish! The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile. (Psalm 53:1)

Human wisdom is foolish. "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (I Corinthian 1:20) The wisdom of the world can never replace the Word of God. "There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord." (Proverbs 21:30) God will bring to light their folly. "The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?" (Jeremiah 8:9) "The wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." (Isaiah 29:14)

Remember this: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (I Corinthian 1:25) The wisdom of the world does not make us intelligent before God. "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know." (I Corinthians 8:1) 

A truly wise man knows God's will and obeys them. "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." (Proverbs 12:15) It comes with humility and restraint. "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2) "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." (Proverbs 17:27) Most of all, true wisdom knows righteousness. "For wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse." (Proverbs 2:12)

True wisdom comes from God. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5) This wisdom brings healthy living. "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:7-8)

Open your heart and believe in God. Jesus said, "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Matthew 11:25) Shun your pride and embrace humility. "Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him." (I Corinthian 1:26-28)

Wisdom manifests in good deeds and humility. "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil." (James 3:13-15)

"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)

True wisdom comes from God. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding." (Psalm 111:10) "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) The Word of God teems with eternal wisdom. "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8) Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

Now, embrace God's secret wisdom. Paul, in one of his letters, spoke of "God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began." (I Corinthian 2:7) God's secret wisdom is Jesus Christ, who is now revealed to the world by His Spirit. "It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (I Corinthian 1:30)

Paul explained that God has revealed His wisdom by His Spirit, which searches all things, even the mystery of God. "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthian 2:12-14).

The greatest wisdom is this: Jesus Christ is God. Paul, in another letter, said: "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely: Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3) The apostle John was referring to Jesus Christ in this verse: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." (John 1:1-2) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word." (Hebrews 1:3) Jesus, himself said: "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Corinthian 1:21-24).

Bible verses were quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

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