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Wishing for Wisdom: James 1:5

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Wisdom, by definition, is "the ability to discern inner qualities or relationships; insight; good judgment; a wise attitude or course of action". It's more than book-smarts or academic intelligence; it goes far deeper than that. It's discernment between right and wrong, insight into good and evil, judgment of what we should trust or be wary of in this world and the people around us.


God wants all of us to live wisely—(and if that's news to you, read Proverbs for the evidence)—but just like patience, it's not a virtue that comes naturally to everyone, myself definitely included. It has to be earned, sought for, requested. God wants us to ask Him for wisdom. Just like He was pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom, God is ready and willing to pour out spiritual gifts when we ask in faith—and He doesn't fault or scold us for the gifts we don't have, as long as we genuinely seek them.


God is so happy to grant us those virtues we lack, in fact, that He gives to all people "liberally".


Liberally: given or provided in a generous or open-handed way.


Given~ God is the giver of wisdom. I can't teach myself to be wise, I can't take a course on it, I can't fix myself by following a 12-point plan or downloading the Wisdom App. God is the source of wisdom, the creator of wisdom, and the only one who can give it.


Provided~ (according to the Cambridge English Dictionary) "to give someone something that they need". God knows that, as Christians, we need wisdom to guide us, to help us navigate this fallen world and understand His will in our lives. And since "my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19), you can bet He'll provide us with the wisdom we need to live as He expects.


Generous~ God is not like some classy restaurant, where you wait for three hours in hunger and expectation for two skimpy scallops and a lemon slice—ta-daaaa! No, God is a giver. He pours out blessings on us, showers us daily with countless gifts, and is waiting expectantly to answer our pleas when we ask him for spiritual virtues. He gives from His heart, which is fathomless, out of His abundant mercy, which is limitless, and He will bestow us with the wisdom we ask for, in His own time and way, as long as we ask for it in sincerity and faith.



Works Cited

Mish, Frederick C. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 9th ed., Merriam-Webster Inc., 1983.


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