What is godly wisdom?
What is the prerequisite of godly wisdom?
How can you get this godly wisdom?
Discover what the Bible says about godly wisdom (as opposed to worldly wisdom) and get a free printable coloring page about wisdom.
The name of this website, Delightful Paths, comes from Proverbs 3:17 (NLT translation), where Solomon tells us:
She [wisdom] will guide you down delightful paths.
Now wisdom is just as important in our day as it was in Solomon’s day. So what else does the Bible say about wisdom and why is it so important?
The Bible is very clear that we should make it a priority to get wisdom. We should be willing to pursue it at all costs. It is far more valuable than gold, silver, or precious stones.
Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
For wisdom is better than rubies. All the things that may be desired can’t be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11)
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. (Proverbs 16:16)
So what is this wisdom we should be pursuing?
Godly Wisdom not Worldly Wisdom
We must be careful because there is a wisdom from above (godly wisdom) and also a wisdom of this world. We should be desiring and seeking after the wisdom from above. James gives us a description of this wisdom – it is “first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17).
The Webster 1828 Dictionary defines wisdom as “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them…. wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good.”
In contrast, the wisdom of this world is foolish and worthless (1 Cor 3:19-20).
Prerequisite of Wisdom – the Fear of the Lord
The foundation or prerequisite for this wisdom from above is the “fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 9:10).
The fear of the Lord is having a reverential awe of God. Our God is just, all-knowing and all-powerful and we need to respond appropriately to Him. The writer of Hebrews cautions us to “have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29). I like this description of Aslan from C.S. Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which reminds us of the character of God.
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”
This fear is not a servile fear, like the fear we would have of a harsh ogre, who is waiting to slam us for the slightest infringement of his rules. Rather it is a loving fear, like the fear (or attitude of awe, reverence, adoration, and honor) of a son towards his loving father.
So wisdom must be preceded by a right attitude before our holy, merciful, loving God. It goes without saying that to have this godly wisdom, you must first be a Christian.
How to Get Godly Wisdom
1. Ask God for wisdom
It is important to know first and foremost that the wisdom from above is given by God.
For the Lord gives wisdom. Out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
So it should come as no surprise that to get this wisdom, first of all, we should ask God for it.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
We can’t expect wisdom to be given to us if we just sit back and wait for it to be poured all over us. Remember that in the book of Proverbs we are told that wisdom will cost us something. Here are some things we can do to grow in wisdom:
2. Read the Bible (Psalm 19:7 ESV, 2 Timothy 3:15)
If we want godly wisdom, we need to read the words of God. And his words are recorded for us in the Bible.
So we should make every effort to read this Word of God daily. And to make sure that we always have time to do this, we should start our day with it. Reading God’s Word is vital, so we should try to make it a habit.
I find it helpful to have a couple of systems in place which help me to read through the Bible. I have a Bible reading plan which ensures that I can read through the whole Bible in less than a year. Also color coding the Bible helps me to concentrate more on the words I am reading.
3. Listen to wise teaching (1 Corinthians 2:13, Proverbs 2:2, Proverbs 8:33, Proverbs 19:20)
It is helpful to listen to sermons which preach the Word. So make sure you go to church and listen to the sermon. I must admit that I am more of a visual learner, so to keep me focused and listening, I take notes.
But there are also other ways to hear good teaching:
- listen to one of the gazillion sermons you can find online
- read a good book
- get involved with a Bible study group
- do a Bible study course. I’ve just completed one subject of an online course. Great stuff!
- find someone to mentor you
4. Obey the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:6, Matthew 7:24)
5. Accept discipline (Proverbs 15:31-32, Proverbs 29:15)
6. Associate with wise people (Proverbs 13:20)
7. Observe creation (Proverbs 6:6, Proverbs 30:24-28)
Wisdom’s Delightful Paths
If wisdom costs you so much, why would you want it? Listen to Solomon in Proverbs 3:13-18:
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gets understanding.
For her good profit is better than getting silver,
and her return is better than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies.
None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
Length of days is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Happy is everyone who retains her.
One final note: Our highest goal should not be so much the pursuit of wisdom, or any other good quality for that matter. Paul shows us what should be our priority:
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8, NLT)
Indeed, Christ Jesus is our wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The delightful paths coloring page above, is available in my free craft resource library.