Summary: Do we have knowledge? or wisdom?
A Real Wise Guy
1. James starts with ? Look around. Who is wise & understanding?
In this section, James tells us what wisdom is & how it may be
2. Wisdom is not a hidden character trait. If foolish man keeps quiet
some will judge him wise, but wise man can’t. He is responsible for
the gift of wisdom given him by God to not keep silent. Jesus says,
“Let your light shine before men.”
3. Possess more knowledge to day than ever. Est. accumulated
knowledge from beg. of history to 1845 were rep. by 1”, learned
from 1845-1945 would =3”, learned from 1945-1975 = hgt. of Wash.
Monument (6,660”). Since then? Internet-more knowledge than we
could possibly process.
4. Few argue about incredible leap in scientific, technological, &
other knowledge. Not paralleled by corresponding leap in common
sense wisdom, or spiritual & moral wisdom. If anything, man’s
understanding of what he is doing & why seems to decrease as
practical knowledge increases.
5. Knowledge isn’t enough. Share these: Did you know......
W.V. man escaped from jail - rope from dental floss.
Kangaroo jumped pile of lumber 10 1/2’ H & 27’ L
Only 2 people in Saudi Arabia subscribe to Surfer magazine
Englishman John Evans kept 66 bricks, 296# on head for 10 sec.
Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola/person than any other country
Heinz ketchup poured from upended bottle travels at 25 miles/year
Can sing “Amazing Grace” to theme song from Gilligans Island
Now you know these things, you have more info, but what practical
use? Jeopardy or Who wants to be a Millionaire? Just knowing
doesn’t mean you know what to do with what you know.
6. Is this true wisdom? Real problem-most people don’t know what
true wisdom is. Wisdom, unlike knowledge, is not a matter of the
head. Line from Forest Gump “Stupid is as stupid does.” James says
about wisdom - “Wisdom is as wisdom does.”
7. James tells us how to get this true wisdom, which is from God. In
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
The place to begin is to ask.
8. 2 kinds of wisdom. Like to think we possess some of it. As we
grow older, we tell younger we have more wisdom. Experience &
life-great teacher. Wisdom is desired. God asked Solomon. Wealth?
Prestige? Power? Influence? He chose wisdom.
9. What is Wisdom? Some think wisdom is simply knowing things.
Dragnet. “Just the facts.” Scripture says wisdom is gift of the spirit.
Some have it, some don’t. Dr. Millard Erickson defines wisdom as
the special ability to discern or judge right/wrong. Thus God’s
wisdom is different from simply having the facts.
10. Solomon story
11. 2 types of wisdom - good/not so good. One brings dissension,
conflict & bitterness. One brings peace. Vs. 13 Don’t hide it, use it.
But don’t boast, use it in humility. Vs. 14 Evil tongue, have a goal &
don’t care who they step on to reach it. Type we choose is evident in
the way we treat others. It is more evident in how we live than what
12. Key to this section. Warned about tongue as unreliable. Man can
claim to be wise, but how do we know for sure? James tells us to
examine the life.
13. Worldly wisdom? Earthly, unspiritual, devilish. Does not come
down from heaven. Literally of man’s spirit, as opposed to coming
from God’s spirit. Talks shows.
14. 30 yrs. child psychologists telling us how to raise our kids. Ideas
very popular and books. Look at children of America. Gotten worse
& seem to be going downhill.
15. Politics. Great Society mid 60’s answer to our poverty & social
problems. 35 yrs. later & 3 trillion $$ still the same or worse.
16. Heavenly wisdom. Whatever not from God is destined to fail.
Examples in Bible: Tower of Babel. Seemed wise for Abraham to go
to Egypt when famine came to Canaan, Saul putting armor on
David to fight Goliath, Disciples thought wise to dismiss crowd & let
them find their own food, Roman experts Acts 27 wise to set sail for
Rome, even though Paul disagreed. “The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding.” Prov. 9:10
17. Godly wisdom? Pure, unselfish motives. Not harsh or abrasive.
Gentleness & right thinking. Obedient to God’s will. Not I choose or
I will. Finally, wisdom from God is sincere. No cunning or craftiness
18. Presidential convention. Arkansas candidate. Hr. long speech
quoted Bible and scripture. We think can’t be all bad quoting Bible.
Misquoted verses. 1 Cor. 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no