“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Throughout Scripture, Godly wisdom is held up as an ideal to which we should aspire. But it is also portrayed as a lofty standard, beyond the grasp of any mere mortal.
James wrote: 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.
If that’s the definition of Godly wisdom, who can ever reach that standard? Jesus is the only one who ever did that perfectly, so where does that leave us? And the answer is, it leaves us as works in progress. It leaves us as people under construction. Wisdom is less something you have then something you are gaining. You see, the list that James gives here are “fruits” of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you. That means that this kind of wisdom cannot exist apart from God. It can only be found through Christ.
Solomon knew that. If you read the book of Proverbs, you know that it is Solomon’s entreaty for all of us to embrace Godly wisdom, and right from the beginning, Solomon laid out the ground rules for attaining this type of wisdom. In chapter 1, verse 7, he wrote, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” In other words, before you learn anything else, learn to bow to God. That act alone leads to true wisdom.
You see, if you want to be wise, you must have your eyes opened from the inside-out. But to get there takes more than just an inward desire. You have to put that desire into action, and that means pursuing the things that God reveals through writers like Solomon and James, even though you can’t grasp them all, yet.