Summary: Wisdom that produces a single-minded determination to do what’s right can only come by asking in Faith
James starts with an assumption: that there will be those among the listeners who need some wisdom
Meaning of SOPHIA:
Not just “smarts”
Not just “someone who knows a lot”
It is a practical wisdom
It was sometimes used for the kind of “knowledge” a skilled craftsperson has, someone whose knowledge enables them to complete certain tasks well.
It is the: “capacity to understand and, as a result [of that understanding], to ACT wisely.”
“Sophia” wisdom demonstrates itself in wise actions.
Pilots go to flight school so they can learn all they need to know about flying
They learn about all those zillions of instruments and gauges they’ll find in the cockpit.
But even beyond that, they learn about how planes work, about aerodynamics and wind speeds and altitude
They learn a LOT about airplanes – and not just the specifics of what lever to pull and what knob to twist
They don’t know everything about everything when they get out of flight school, but they know a LOT about flying
Why do they need to know that stuff?
Why don’t they just teach them which lever to pull and which knob to twist and how far?
I don’t know how my TV works, but I can watch it and change the channels
I don’t know how my car works, but I can drive it.
They learn all that other stuff because they may come into situations that don’t fit all their previous learning
They need to have understanding and insight, so when they come into those kinds of situations, they will have:
the “capacity to understand and, as a result [of that understanding], to ACT wisely.”
And what kind of pilot do you want to have?
The kind who was only trained about the levers and knobs?
Or the kind who has a greater understanding so that when he or she comes into difficult situations, they can draw on that understanding?
I know what kind I want!
Ok, so what does all this flight talk have to do with us? James is saying that there are some of us who are going to need some wisdom. Maybe not wisdom to fly an airplane, but the wisdom to chart our course in uncertain territory.
So, who needs this kind of wisdom?
Parents who want their children to be responsible, capable adults need wisdom.
And if those parents want their children to grow up to be strong in their faith, they’ll need even more wisdom
Because with all the books and magazines and seminars and parents who have gone before, every parent faces issues every day that just aren’t covered in those things
There is no manual that says, “Just pull this lever or twist this know and everything will turn out right.”
Parents need wisdom, the “capacity to understand and, as a result [of that understanding], to ACT wisely.”
But is it just parents who need wisdom?
How about those who face ethical dilemmas, whether at school or at work or at home
Teenagers who look around and say, “My friends are all drinking… They’ll think I’m a loser if I don’t.”
They need not just the knowledge of what’s right and wrong, they need the kind of insight that makes them WANT to make the right choice
The understanding of how their present can impact their future