WHO IS A WISE MAN?
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” James 3:13
The Book of James is a wealth of practical instruction. Here God is teaching us about the value and characteristics of true wisdom, as well as the evidence of false wisdom. For the next several days, our lessons will be concentrating on the subject of wisdom and some truths that are found in this portion of the Word of God. James begins by asking a valid question, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?” We all realize how desperately we need God’s wisdom. We need His wisdom for our daily decisions and for those who look to us for counsel or advice.
The Bible is clear that we are not to lean on our own understanding or trust in our opinions and perspective. The way that seems right to us is usually not the right way at all. Thankfully, we can know that we have access to God’s wisdom in the pages of our Bible. Whether we need wisdom about marriage, relating to parents, dealing with someone who has offended us, personal finances, training children, overcoming habits, or any other matters that we face, God’s Word is our primary source of wisdom. Obviously, God can give us wisdom through the counsel of others, but that wisdom should be based on and be in agreement with the Scripture. For this reason, and numerous others, we should make it a chief purpose in life to read, study, learn, and apply the principles of the Bible. We can ask God for wisdom, having confidence that He wants us to find wisdom and that He will give His wisdom to us.
Our text tells us something about the “wise man.” He will have a lifestyle or conduct that agrees with the wisdom he possesses. True wisdom is more than simply an accumulation of information. It is godly advice from those who live godly lives. Our text says about the man of wisdom, “let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” The word “conversation” means his “conduct or manner of living.” The man of wisdom is also a man of “meekness.” Those who are truly wise will have an attitude of humility. When a person claims to have godly wisdom, or is reputed to have great wisdom, yet he is prideful or condemning of others, he is not demonstrating the characteristics of true wisdom.