I used to think that finding wisdom was somewhat of a mental exercise. You ask God for it and then listen for His voice. Get out the yellow notepad for really big decisions and write out the pros and cons, praying you will hear His leading as you think through the right way to go. Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in that, in fact, it’s very practical.
But what I’ve come to understand is that finding wisdom is really more of a heart exercise. I can ask God for wisdom, but if my heart is clouded by an underlying determination to have my own way, or by insecurities that crave satisfaction, then wisdom is going to be hard to recognize.
These days, when I ask God for wisdom, I’m also careful to look at the state of my heart. What am I motivated by? Have I removed the filters that could color what I hear the Lord telling me to do?
Does my heart reflect the characteristics found in James 3:17?
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”
I want to challenge you in this season to take a close look at these characteristics as you seek wisdom. Ask God to show you if there is anything that may be keeping you from recognizing it.
And when you think you’ve found it, here’s a good litmus test…..Wisdom is gentle, humble. (James 3:13). It’s not harsh or abrasive.
In the end, a wise decision will have a gentleness about it that eases you.
Consider the big and small, the every day of it…conversations, social media posts, decisions, even the very thoughts you think. Do they carry wisdom’s marker of gentleness?
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”
James 3:13 (NASB)