"And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'" (Job 28:28)
Wisdom, a much misunderstood matter, which in today's world seems to have vanished into the vastness of the Universe. Many people have knowledge or gathered up information over time and with this particular understanding of certain issues or theories, they believe they have obtained wisdom. This misconceived conception of wisdom started with the beginning of man and continues forward into our educational system of today. Asking some people today what is wisdom, some respond with the notion of experience through life, which this concept is getting closer, but still not hot enough.
Wisdom is the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right as defined in the dictionary, but lets take an even closer look. Wisdom in the Bible is depicted as having knowledge of God and His commandments and thereby following His path. Wisdom is also described as having knowledge of any kind, but knowing what to do with the knowledge when one obtains it.
The first definition drawn from the dictionary is right, but not true with the exclusion of God. Discernment is knowing what to do as to what is true or right, but most people today ask, "what is right?" Even Christians are beginning to ask such non-sense and with it are becoming more tolerable towards unrighteousness, which therefore is conforming the church to the world's standards; Ludacris! The question in understanding true wisdom and discernment is not is it right or wrong, but rather is it pleasing to the Lord?
There are certain laws and commands by God that are unmovable and plain to understand and follow. These commands must stay in our hearts and minds and should be used as a light for the path ahead. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalms 119:105). Other commands are not so clear, for example smoking cigarettes or eating certain meats, which this is where true wisdom comes in. The question then is, "not is it right or wrong, but rather is it pleasing to the Lord?" When an individual is born again and has the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, then the Holy Spirit will give them the wisdom needed with the conviction through our conscientious of particular grey areas that are not covered in scripture.
Paul goes over this topic with the best explanation in the book of Corinthians, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being." (1Corinthians 10:23,24). We should then do only those things which please the Lord and do also those things which do not cause our brothers or sisters to fall. We have freedom in Christ, but we must use true, godly wisdom to live a righteous life that is pleasing to God and that also presents us as an example to fellow believers and the world.
James goes on to explain what godly wisdom is in the third chapter, "But 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). A true and wise person will walk humbly before the Lord, seeking to please and glorify Him always; Having mercy on all people and praying for those that are lost or in need. He or she will bare good fruit for the Lord and will be filled with His peace and joy at all times. Now of course this does not mean they will be perfect, but that is what we seek to be through this corruptible life. We do not seek to act perfect or set ourselves above others, but instead walk with a humble spirit and always willing to help bless another.
True wisdom is also life as spoken by Solomon in Proverbs, "For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 8:35). God delights in us when we live a life full of godly wisdom and that is pleasing to the Lord. How do we obtain true wisdom? We gain wisdom by studying God's word, walking with Him each day and by putting His commands to practice in our own lives. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalms 1:1,2). We should observe our own ways to make sure that the way we choose and the things we partake are pleasing to the Lord. "Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established." (Proverbs 4:26).
When we seek wisdom and seek to please the Lord, we are truly seeking life that is eternal. We seek a good thing when are ways are right before the Lord and we bear fruit for Him regardless of what the level of fruit God has planned for your life, as long as we are on His path and pleasing Him, we have won the good fight. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7).
"Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." (Psalms 107).