Word of the Month

Wisdom from above

July 2002

Already Solomon knew that true wisdom could only be granted by the Lord: "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6). In order to receive this, one needs the fear of God. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," declares the psalmist (c.f. Psalms 111:10). Whoever is able to recognize God's majesty, grasps the sacrifice of Christ and allows himself to be enthused by the activity of the Holy Ghost, will have the fear of the Lord growing in his soul. It will allow him to bow before the endless might, love and mercy of the Triune with high regard and respect.

What is to be done when our conduct, our thinking, our expressions are not always wise? Apostle James shows the way: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (c.f. James 1:5). This is good counsel. Whoever lacks in wisdom does not need to resign and give up, but rather can ask God for wisdom. When such a request is prompted out of the fear of God, it is possible for wisdom to develop on this basis.

Apostle James likewise illustrates what the wisdom granted by God is able to effect: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17). Wisdom brings about whole cascades of divine virtues. Let us accept it, so that all of these gifts may be revealed in us. Let us be peaceable and not be driven back and forth by restlessness. Let us be willing to yield. Let us be gentle, full of mercy and bring good fruits. What are such good fruits? Faith, love and hope, loyalty and peace, joy and strength. Let us also be impartial and without hypocrisy. All this grows thanks to wisdom.

Let us grow in knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is multiplied through God's word. By taking it in, we penetrate more and more deeply into the knowledge of God's plan of salvation, and we recognize more and more clearly what is good and what is evil and what the Lord expects of us. And when we, in addition, have the insight to do that which is good and avoid evil, then we will have come a good deal closer to the image of Jesus.

God grants success to those who are honest with themselves, recognize what they yet lack, then plead for help and strength from above, and finally engage their whole will. He does not grant it to the clever, the highly intelligent, not to the mighty, not the educated, not the influential, but rather to the upright. These are the ones who endeavour to follow God's word and adjust themselves according to His will honestly, truthfully, without hesitation and with all their power. They will reach the goal of faith and receive the reward at the return of Christ. On the way there, He shelters the devout, who are dedicated and loyal to the Lord, in uprightness and without pretence.

(Excerpt from a divine service of the Chief Apostle)