Godly wisdom fuels godly decisions. Lack of wisdom produces decisions that may result in trying or even devastating circumstances. We experienced some huge challenges over the last 12 months – many beyond our control. But as we look around our world and our country today, we can see that some of the biggest problems we face are of our own making.
Every decision we make has consequences. Sometimes these consequences don’t reveal themselves for years. Others are immediate. I’ve been praying that our elected officials will be able to get past all the political junk and come together to make wise decisions. To do what’s best for America. I’ve also been praying that every decision I make will reflect true godly wisdom.
Whether watching our country’s leaders or seeking to live our own lives with God’s wisdom, it’s important to know what His wisdom looks like so we can recognize it and live by it.
What is Godly Wisdom?
Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. We can know a lot of stuff and still be foolish. You don’t have to look far to see examples. I love this description of godly wisdom from Wayne Grudem in his book “Systematic Theology.” (By the way, this is a staple for your library if you want to study God’s Word!)
“God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. This definition goes beyond the idea of God knowing all things and specifies that God’s decisions about what He will do are always wise decisions: that is, they always will bring about the best results (from God’s ultimate perspective), and they will bring about those results through the best possible means.”
Applied to us, if we want to be truly wise, we will make decisions and act in ways to move toward God’s ultimate best.
How Do We Get Godly Wisdom?
Wisdom is found in and begins with God. We find true wisdom on the basis of our relationship with Him. We find true wisdom by humbly submitting to God and obeying His commands.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10
Here’s the kicker – the flip side of that is also true. If we don’t yield to God and His good leadership, but instead follow our own will, way, and “wisdom,” then we are really foolish.
What does Wisdom Look Like? 8 Characteristics of Wisdom
We could scour the book of Proverbs and come up with a long, long list of characteristics. (Also see “3 Tips to Help You Understand Proverbs.”) But there’s this great passage in James that packs a lot into just a few verses. The following characteristics are based on James 3:13-18:
- Humble – Wise people don’t constantly brag, boast, or display a prideful attitude.
- Good deeds – Wise people live an upright and moral life.
- Gentle – Wise people treat others with care and respect.
- Considerate – Wise people put the needs of others ahead of themselves whenever possible.
- Peace-loving – Wise people don’t foster division. Instead they work to end strife and turmoil.
- Merciful – Wise people demonstrate compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to others.
- Sincere – Wise people are genuine, real, and honest; not deceitful, hypocritical, or false.
- Impartial – Wise people are fair and just. They do not show partiality to others for their own benefit.
This is a serious and specific list. Do you know anyone who is wise? Based on this list, do you consider yourself to be wise? I must admit, this list challenges me. I want my life to demonstrate godly wisdom. What about you?
Do you know anyone that is truly, biblically wise? I’d love to hear about them.
You may also be interested in this post: “Wisdom: Why, Where, and How”
Check out Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology”
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It amazing when I read this passage it challenge me as a christian to desperately seek for Godly wisdom in my entire life then everything will fall in places
Takiama, thank you for stopping by. And you are right! This is challenging. But it is God’s wisdom given to us and not something we have to do on our own. Isn’t that amazing and humbling!?
As I just finished reading about the 8 Characteristics of “Godly wisdom”, it occurred to me that passage of scripture in the Bible where Jesus was inviting those who were surrounding to “Come and learn of him”. He. being God’s son was greatly endowed with wisdom from on high. Those who heard him speak marvelled at the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom which he possessed. So much so, that they said, “Never have we heard a man speak like this!” They were truly amazed at the way he spoke to them. He was neither boasting or berating, but merely laying it out there for them to absorb this great knowledge and insight. They knew within themselves that he must be the “Son of God”, their “Maker”. He spoke with such keen insight, which far exceeded the prophets and the magicians that had come before them. When he spoke, they became “awe struck!!” He spoke with such God-given authority which left them awe struck!! He was the “Word of God” living among them. As the Bible stated, “The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst them”.
Thanks Kathy! It’s so important to realize, as you point out, that wisdom and knowledge are not the same thing. Wisdom is something that God imparts to us as we get to know him better. It is based on a relationship with him. God help us to acquire wisdom!
Kathy, Thank you for the post in many ways I see myself striving to live by the eight characteristics of Godly wisdom. However I am human so I’m going to keep striving. I am just so very greatful to have a father to hand those gifts down to me. Praise Jesus
Thank you so much . This is an eye opener to know those that fear the lord and God has given wisdom
Wouldn’t pure be one of the 8 included?
Yes, it is there in the passage! Technically, it is included under “good works.” Thanks for the input!
Indeed these points worth living for if one wants to live long and please his saviour at the eternity.
Thanks indeed, God bless your ministry.
Thank you Kathy for sharing this information. I am currently studying all aspects of Godly Wisdom. This was very helpful, especially difference between knowledge and wisdom.
the best life manual is the Holy Bible,thanks to God for His’ word and God bless the Authors for such a wonderful education.please why is it that God-fearing is not included? Because Proverbs 9:10 has stated it clearly that,’beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD and acknowledging of the Holy one is the understanding.thank you very much.
Thank you for coming by and commenting! I agree! We cannot have godly wisdom unless we fear God. According Proverbs 9:10 that is the path to wisdom as the blog says. The list of 8 characteristics simply help us understand what godly wisdom looks like, not how we access it.
Kudo to the rightful owner of this post, i celebrate the grace of God upon your life, it’s impossible for every Christian to please God, love his fellow human being and even to pass an accurate judgment to his/she accusers without processing with this attributes, hallelujah.
I came across this blog post as I search for something to impart to my students during our weekly morning devotion. Thank you for reminding us how we can make our lives a clear manifestation of God’s work thru seeking Godly wisdom. Praise the Lord for your life!
Thank you for your post on Godly wisdom. I am teaching Children Church about the wisdom of Solomon. Your 8 characteristics of wisdom will be a great help in teaching the children of Godly wisdom.
So glad it was helpful!
Thanks so much Kathy, a great and deep study indeed on Godly wisdom. It came at the exact moment when we are studying the Proverbs 31 woman and the characteristics of wisdom you have guided us through are so timely and power packed. Thank you again.
Hi Rebecca! So glad it was helpful to you!
This is revelational. Thank you, may God enrich you with more grace.
Thank God for encountering this blog, God bless you ma.
I am thankful for you sister to publish this on these very helpful character traits to help us pray and meditate on. May the Lord continue to bless you.
This piece is highly loaded and of a great blessing to me. Thanks, more grace.
Good! I hope you find all the resources useful!
I celebrate the wisdom of God (JESUS CHRIST), through this wisdom l experiences a colourful and glorious day.