“Need Any Wisdom?” ( James 1:5, WYC ) by Carley Evans

James may as well be a carnival barker for as many times as a person seriously asks God for wisdom. I’m being a bit harsh here, I know. But, my impression of what we ask God to give us is not for Him to give us wisdom. The requests are more akin to: success, good health, power, wealth, friends, and – ah yes – souls. The last request, of course, requires wisdom from God and is the most noble of the six desires. How many times, however, do we ask for the salvation of a soul without also asking God for the required wisdom?

James reminds:

“And if any of you needeth wisdom, ask he of God, which giveth to all men largely [that giveth to all men largely], and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him.”

Wisdom is “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight. Wisdom is good sense : judgment. Wisdom is generally accepted belief. Wisdom is a wise attitude, belief, or course of action. Finally, wisdom is the teachings of the ancient wise men” — think Proverbs referred to as the Books of Wisdom.

What we need from God is knowledge, insight, and judgment. What we ask for is power and prosperity.

God “upbraideth not.” He freely gives His wisdom; if only we seek it.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. mtsweat says:

    Very good take on this Carley. We often see texts like this ripped from the author’s context and applied to just about every aspect of life… save for the one the author intended. James is of course preparing his readers for the trials and sufferings they would no doubt encounter as believers. There would come a point when they were suffering these trials and would long for an understanding as to ‘why?’ James says, God isn’t keeping it a secret. Pray for the understanding (wisdom) as to why you are suffering this trial. In the end he will conclude, these trials are all part of God’s work in the believer’s life transforming them into the image of His Son (vs. 12).
    James is preparing them for persecution and tests, and as you state, not to offer them a genie in a bottle. Good thoughts today. God bless.

    1. lambskinny says:

      Thanks, Michael. And “amen!”

  2. Petra says:

    “What we need from God is knowledge, insight, and judgment. What we ask for is power and prosperity.” Ouch!

    Great post!

    1. lambskinny says:

      Thanks Petra. God bless.

  3. lambskinny says:

    Thank you Drusilla and Lady D.

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