THE FRUITS OF WISDOM
Much is said about wisdom in God’s word. Many sermons have been preached on wisdom, and volumes have been written about the subject; yet, the world seems no wiser. I think there is an obvious reason. The world is confusing knowledge with wisdom. A great many people today are like those in the days of Paul, especially the Athenians. When Paul went into the city of Athens and was greatly disturbed at the idolatry, Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, tells us: “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” (Acts ). These people were not interested in righteousness nor any noble endeavor. They just wanted to hear something new—something different to talk about. Even some members of the Lord’s church are like that today, more interested in hearing and spreading juicy gossip than they are in serving God. Is this wisdom? More harm is caused in the church by a careless use of the tongue than any other one thing. Brethren, we need to think before we speak. As strange as it seems, the attitude of some is, “If I’m sure that I get the facts straight, then it is all right to tell it.” But whether it is wise to tell a thing or not does not always depend upon whether you have the facts straight. This principle is true in every phase of your speech. There are some things better left unsaid. Rudeness is never in order, even though what you say might be true. You might think that a person is terrible ugly, but would it be proper to tell him so? Therefore, wisdom is knowing what to say and when to say it. The writer of the book of James puts it much better than I can. He says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Jas.3:17).
How does this wisdom come? It is somewhat like the beatnik said when asked by a stranger, “How do you get to Carnage Hall?” He answered, “Practice, man, practice.” So if you work at it, you can gain wisdom. However, there is a shortcut to wisdom. First gain knowledge, then ask God for wisdom to use it. (Jas.1:5).
Let us always strive to further the cause of Christ in every way that we can.