Summary: #2 in the series on the Book of James. If we need wisdom, let ask God, but we will only receive from God what we have faith to believe that we will receive.
Book of James Series
#2 Do You Need More Wisdom?
By Pastor Jim May
Could you use a little more wisdom? In all of the decisions that you have had to make in life, how much better would your life be today if you had the wisdom to do the right thing at the right time, to avoid many of the mistakes that you have made, and to have all of those decisions made according to the will of God for your life?
Wisdom is something that we all need more of, and yet every day it seems that wisdom is getting to be a very rare commodity.
Wisdom is often defined as not only having the knowledge needed to make a right choice in any given moment, but the understanding or ability to use that knowledge to the best advantage under every circumstance.
The Bottom Line is that all of us need wisdom and not one of us ever has enough.
Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Automotive Industries asked an electrical genius by the name of Charlie Steinmetz to build the generators for his factory. One day the generators ground to a halt, and the repairmen couldn’t find the problem. Ford called Steinmetz, who tinkered with the machines for a few hours and then threw the switch. The generators whirred to life--but Ford got a bill for $10,000 from Steinmetz. He was flabbergasted at the high cost of the bill, so he asked Steinmetz why it cost so much for only a few hours of work.
Steinmetz said, “Well I only charged $10 for the time that I tinkered on the generators, but the $9,990 is for knowing where to tinker. Henry Ford paid the bill.
Here were two men who had wisdom. Ford had the wisdom to know that he didn’t know it all and the wisdom to find someone who had the knowledge he needed. Then he had the wisdom to pay for that knowledge rather than try to figure it out the hard way. Steinmetz also had wisdom. He had the wisdom to know what to do, how to do it and then how to go about convincing Henry Ford to pay for what he knew.
We all lack wisdom. We all need wisdom. The question is: how do we get wisdom? Where does wisdom come from?
Most of us learn those lessons that teach us wisdom through the school of life. We tend to learn only by wading off into uncharted waters and making many mistakes that are costly. When something costs you, you will learn from it, unless you are insane. I’ve met a lot of insane people in my life. Sometimes I almost qualify to be one of them. (Some people say that I’m well qualified.)
Insanity can be defined as continuing to do the same stupid things over and again and expecting different results. Have you ever repeated the same mistake more than once? Maybe insanity runs in your family too?!
The wise man understands the message when he hears someone say, “A wise man learns by the experience of others. An ordinary man learns by his own experience. A fool learns by nobody’s experience.”
I would hope that most of us will learn from watching others make mistakes so that we won’t do the same thing, but I fear that the vast majority will fall into the “ordinary” category because we just don’t pay attention to what’s going on around us that much. I certainly hope that none of us fall into the category of a “fool”, though I sometimes wonder if some haven’t already.
Let’s use the wisdom that we have and see if God’s Word has anything to say about getting wisdom, after all God is the ultimate source for all wisdom. It’s always best to look at the source.
Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 2:6, "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
222 times in the Word of God we hear about wisdom. So if we want to know about it and learn it then we must understand that God is the Number One source for all wisdom; and that’s what we see when we read in the opening passages in the Book of James.
James 1:5-8, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."