Godly Wisdom · James · Wisdom

Ten Tests to Ensure Godly Wisdom

Is it possible to know if we are getting godly wisdom? How do we know that we aren’t just listening to our conscience, or someone that agrees with us? James 3:13-18 offers 16 tests for God’s wisdom, although it doesn’t say test, it is “lists.”  When we are searching for wisdom, this passage is a tremendous resource.  If we really want to know if we are receiving God’s wisdom, not man’s, or worse yet, Satan’s, we can look at this passage to see if it is God’s wisdom.

If you have a situation right now that needs God’s wisdom, you can put that decision through these tests. Or if you are seeking godly wisdom from a friend, you can put that person through these tests to ensure you receive God’s wisdom.

  1. Godly wisdom comes from those obedient to God (James 3:13). Sometimes we may be tempted to just listen to any Christian, but verse 13 says wisdom comes from those with good conduct. 
  2. Godly wisdom comes from those who are meek (13). This doesn’t mean that the person is a pushover, but someone who is gentle in spirit. Obnoxious or demanding people often give bad wisdom.
  3. God’s wisdom is pure (17). Purity means not mixed with other things, or free of contamination. Does this wisdom bring purity to my Christian life, or take me towards impurity?
  4. God’s wisdom is peaceable (17). Is this something that brings peace, or wrecks peace. We have to be careful here. Sometimes we think we can be creating peace with  someone,  but create brokenness with someone else while doing it. 
  5. Is this wisdom gentle or bringing gentleness to me others or (17)? Gentleness is a mild, kind, or tender temperament or attitude. Does the wisdom being suggested provide gentleness, or it is obnoxious and blunt?
  6. Is this wisdom open to reason (17)? In other words, does this wisdom give both sides of a story or just one side? Is what is being said to make the decision reasonable, or far fetched?
  7. Does this decision lead to mercy (17)? Mercy has the idea of compassion or forgiveness shown to someone when it’s in your power to do the opposite? Does the decision you’re making about how to deal with a situation reflect mercy?
  8. Will this decision lead to the fruit of the Spirit (17, Galatians 5:22-23)? Will the outcome of what you decide lead to things that will bring about the goodness of God, or tear those things down?
  9. Is this wisdom impartial (17)? Does this wisdom detach itself emotionally and would be made if you were not connected to this  person or situation? 
  10. Is this decision sincere (17)? Is there truth to the decision I’m going to make, or have I convinced myself of something that is not true? Has someone else talked me into something else that is not true?

Godly wisdom is of utmost importance to Christians seeking God’s will. This discussion will continue with “Seven Tests to Avoid Ungodly Wisdom,” and then “The Benefits of Following Godly Wisdom.”

Does your situation fit all of the above tests?  Do you know a Christian who can fit these characteristics to help you find godly wisdom? If you are giving wisdom to someone else, does it match up with God’s standard for wisdom?

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