James 3:13-18


Wisdom is the key to living a productive Christian life and to grasp it, we need to know how it is intertwined with knowledge and understanding. Beginning with the knowledge of God’s truth, we must then use understanding to see how it relates to life. When we correctly apply knowledge and understanding to our lives, we exhibit wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to apply spiritual truth to life’s realities; it is the practical use of truth, not merely the knowledge of it.

The source of true wisdom is God alone. The difference between true wisdom and false wisdom is their source; true wisdom is from God in heaven above, and false wisdom is from the devil in hell below (James 3:14-15). True wisdom leads to righteousness, peace, and a productive life (James 3:18). False wisdom leads to destruction, envy, confusion, chaos, and conflict—every evil thing we can imagine (James 3:16). When making life’s decisions, we will either start with what God has to say or what the world has to say. Where we start will determine where we finish.

In order to cultivate wisdom, you must start with the fear of God and take God seriously. Listen to what He says in His Word and let it direct your decision-making. Obedience to God’s Word will develop wisdom in your life. Others will recognize that you are growing in wisdom by your character, your lack of hypocrisy, your gentleness and your desire for peace. Ask God for wisdom. If you have the fear of God and the Word of God as the basis for your request, believe that He will give wisdom to you (James 1:5). By seeking the source of true wisdom, you will see how God can reverse any wrong courses you have taken thus far. Having His wisdom will allow you to make better decisions and to experience His blessings.

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Getting Started

  1. Have you ever been given the wrong directions by a person or a GPS? Did you end up somewhere other than your destination?
  2. How does listening to what the world has to say on the news or social media affect your mood and your decision-making?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. In what area of your life do you know the truth, but you have yet to act on it? What is holding you back from being obedient to God?
  2. When have you followed false wisdom and where did it lead you?
  3. How have you seen God reverse the wrong courses in your life and redeem your bad decisions?

Take the Next Step

  1. What do you need to do this week to develop the fear of God and begin taking God seriously?
  2. In what areas do you need to ask God for His wisdom? In what areas do you need to start obeying God’s Word today?
  3. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: James 1:1-12; 1 Peter 1:6-9; Hebrews 10:35-39; 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; Isaiah 43:1-2; John 16:33; Romans 12:12; 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:13-18; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 50:15; Genesis 39:6-18; Matthew 4:1-11, 6:13, 26:41; Luke 8:13; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Genesis 3:1-6; James 1:19-27; 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Psalm 139:23-24; 1 John 3:16-18; Luke 10:25-37; Romans 7:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 5:11-14; John 8:31-32; Luke 8:4-15; James 2:1-13; Galatians 2:11-20, 3:28-29; John 4:1-42; Numbers 12:1-16; Ephesians 2:11-22; 1 Corinthians 1:26; Romans 12:16; Malachi 2:9; Acts 10:34; Deuteronomy 24:19; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Romans 10:12; Matthew 23:1-12; Acts 6:1-6; Romans 14:1-12; James 2:14-26; Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 4:17-20; Romans 5:8-10; Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7; John 19:30; Genesis 22:1-19; Joshua 2:1-21, 6:22-25; James 3:1-12; Mark 11:20-26; Matthew 12:31-37; Matthew 15:16-20; Psalm 16:23; Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 18:20-21; Psalm 15:4; Psalm 12:18; Proverbs 13:3; Colossians 4:6; Psalm 141:3; Proverbs 15:14; Ephesians 4:29-30; Ephesians 5:4; Psalm 109:17-18; James 3:13-18; James 1:5-8; Ephesians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 1:19-24; Job 28:12-23; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 2:1-7; Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 1:16-18; Romans 11:33-34; Proverbs 15:1-7; Proverbs 10:13-14; Proverbs 2:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-6; Daniel 2:19-27; Proverbs 21:30; Romans 16:27.

Renew Your Mind

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”

James 3:17