Summary: True wisdom - the whos, hows and whys!

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James 1:5-11


A man was pulled over by a policeman and asked if he knew he was going too fast.

He said, ‘I’m sorry officer. I had my cruise control on and just forgot the speed limit changed.’ His wife said, ‘Harry, I told you two miles ago that you were speeding.’ Harry gives his wife a dirty look as the officer pulls out his ticket book.

‘By the way, sir, did you know that your left rear signal lense was broken?’ the policeman asks, to which Harry replies, ‘Oh wow, it must have just happened in the mall parking lot we just left.’ His wife again interrupts and says, ‘Harry, how can you sit there and lie to that nice policeman? I told you to fix that three weeks ago!’ Harry gives another look that could kill as the officer starts writing.

The policeman adds, ‘I am going to have to cite you for not wearing your seatbelt, also.’ Harry says, ‘I just unbuckled as you came up to the car so I could get to my driver’s license if you needed it.’ The little lady pipes up, ‘Harry, you know good and well, I tell you all the time that you better buckle up, ’cause YOU NEVER WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!’

Having taken all he can stand Harry turns to his tormentor and says with great exasperation, ‘Woman would you keep your big mouth shut!’

Now the officer looks at and addresses the little lady and asks, ‘does he verbally abuse you like this often, ma’am?’

Says she, ‘Oh no, only when he has had one drink too many.’

Abraham Lincoln said, ‘I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.’

Well this morning we come to that passage in James where it talks about true wisdom and how to get it. Let’s consider what this wisdom James is talking about really is.


Is it the same as knowledge? Is wisdom really just another name for knowledge?


Knowledge is closely aligned with wisdom – listen to 2 Chr 1:10-12 (READ PASSAGE) But as Billy Graham says, ‘Knowledge is horizontal; wisdom is vertical and comes from above.’ Scripture makes it clear that they often go together – but you can be knowledgeable & yet unwise. LOOK UP THE SCRIPTURES ON YOUR OUTLINE AT YOUR OWN LEISURE TO PROVE THIS. So knowledge isn’t wisdom – but wisdom is knowledgeable. Wisdom knows what is right. Do you understand the difference?

Is wisdom discernment? Is discernment really another name for wisdom?


Likewise discernment is often linked with wisdom in Scripture – (READ PROV 17:24). Scripture makes it clear that discernment and wisdom often go together, but as the passages on your outline indicate it is not the same as wisdom. Discernment isn’t wisdom – but wisdom is discerning. And discerning the need for wisdom is wise! They go together – yet discernment is not wisdom.

Is wisdom understanding? Could the word understanding replace wisdom?


Listen to an example of how understanding is often linked to wisdom – (READ PROV 3:19; 24:3). And yet again understanding although closely tied to wisdom is not wisdom. Once again the passages on your outline proclaim this.

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