If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5
As you work through your study guide this week, journal about the following two questions:
What is wisdom? And, what does your picture of God look like?
First, what is wisdom? When James encourages us to ask for wisdom from God, what exactly are we asking for?
There’s a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is fact-finding. It is possible to have bottomless knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is applying knowledge with discernment and good judgment. British journalist and broadcaster Miles Kington said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
Proverbs 1 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Reverence and adoration for God are the essential starting points to becoming wise. Biblical wisdom is an understanding of how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Wisdom asks to see every situation through God’s eyes. Wisdom asks to please God in every circumstance.
Where do you need to ask for wisdom this week? Where can you offer wisdom to someone in need?
Secondly, what does your picture of God look like? Our verse in James describes God as generous, and always ready to receive us. Is that your picture of God?
The word theology simply means the study (-logy from logos) of God (theo-). So, your picture of God quite literally shapes your theology. If you had to describe God, what would your description be? What is God’s attitude toward you?
These questions are so important because your picture of God will affect how you interact with God. Hebrews 4 encourages us to approach God’s throne with confidence when we’re in need. But how can you approach God’s throne with confidence, or even approach him at all if you think he’s angry, shaking his head in disappointment, or even absent altogether? Do you picture God with an open hand or a clenched fist? What does your picture of God look like?
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. – Psalm 33:5
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17
See you Thursday!