Summary: Does our definitions of wisdom match what God wants from us? This outline illustrates how our definitions of wisdom are much more shortsighted than what God has to offer us

Get into 3 groups

Group 1 define the word “wisdom” like it would be in the dictionary

Group 2 define worldly wisdom

Group 3 define Godly wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you?

Group 1

What is wisdom? (write down definitions in column 1)

Why do you think James lumped in understanding to this question?

In order to be understanding you need have empathy -

In order to have empathy - you had to learn from an experience

But what does James say about wisdom & understanding?

Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Here is the dictionary definition of wisdom:


1. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

2. Common sense; good judgment

3. a.The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge

b.Wise teachings of the ancient sages.

(point out similarities to group 1’s definition)

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk. Doug Larson.

James sums up in this first verse (13) that wisdom is shown by the way we act in our lives

But where does James go from here?

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

What kind of wisdom is James talking about here? (worldly wisdom)

Take test:

1. How long would it take darkness to cover the earth if the sun went out?

O 4 1/2 minutes O 8 1/3 minutes O 25 minutes O 2 hours O 1 day

Correct answer: 8 1/3 minutes

2. What percentage of all forms of life that have existed on Earth are now extinct?

O 50% O 65% O 70% O 85% O 95%

Correct answer: 95%

3. What is the most air polluted city in the United States?

O Chicago, IL O Denver, CO O Los Angeles, CA O New York, NY O Seattle, WA

Correct answer: Los Angeles, CA

4. What is the average speed at which a beard grows per year?

O 40mm O 140mm O 240mm O 340mm O 440mm

Correct answer: 140mm

5. Anteaters actually prefer termites to ants. True or False?

O True O False

Correct answer: True

6. About how many dimples are there on a golf ball?

O 50 O 100 O 200 O 400 O 600

Correct answer: 400

7. How many eyes does an earthworm have?

O 0 O 1 O 2 O 4 O 8

Correct answer: 0

8. How much of a cucumber is water?

O 11% O 37% O 68% O 80% O 96%

Correct answer: 96%

9. It is estimated that about 7-million of these are thrown away every day. Is it...

O Publishers Clearing House entries O Tax dollars O Pennies O Michael Bolton C.D.s O Sheet of unused paper Correct answer: pennies

10. What animal does cashmere come from?

O goats O sheep O whales O lamas O bears

Correct answer: goats

How many got all 10 right? how bout 9...8?...7?

But in the worlds eyes - if you got all 10 right - you’d be pretty smart

You would have worldly wisdom

Group 2

What is worldly wisdom? (write down definitions in column 2)

So...James sums up in this first verse (13) that wisdom is shown by the way we act in our lives

But he also says that so-called wisdom for selfish purposes is not wisdom at all -

In fact it comes from hell -

Now where does James go next?

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

What kind of wisdom is James talking about here? (Godly wisdom)

Group 3

What is Godly wisdom? (write down definitions in column 3)

(Now under columns 1,2 & 3 place the words that James uses in verses 17 & 18)

James attributes the qualities of wisdom to these words:


II Tim 2:20-22

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion