Portraits from Proverbs (05)


As we’ve seen, Wisdom is dangerous to ignore, and a blessing to have. Today, we’ll consider wisdom’s character. That is, we’ll discuss the nature of true wisdom, so you can recognize it when you find it.

Bible Reading

Pro. 8:6-9 (6) Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. (7) For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. (8) All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. (9) They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Jas 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. (15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (16) For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Wisdom’s Character

Solomon’s portrait of wisdom shows that she is godly. You can tell by her conversation. She speaks:

  • Excellent things: important, honorable, noble things
  • Right things: equitable, upright things
  • Truth: that which is certain, sure, faithful
  • Righteousness: justice, morality

Missing from her vocabulary are:

  • Wickedness: wrong, immorality
  • Frowardness:
  • Perversion: distorted, false, crooked

James summed this up well when he said, “the wisdom that is from above is first pure.” You can be sure that any advice you get that encourages you to do wrong isn’t from God. Here are a couple of examples of ungodly “wisdom”:

  • A friend tells you that your mate wouldn’t take you for granted if they knew someone else was interested in you. They suggest a little flirtation to help your mate appreciate what they have.
  • You look at the working world around you and come to the conclusion that you’ll make more money if you’re dishonest. You cut corners and shade the truth to get what you want.
  • You’re under a lot of pressure right now, and a friend suggests that the two of you hit the bars to “blow of a little steam.”

All three suggestions are contrary to biblical commands and principles. Following this kind of advice may bring you short term relief, but it will dishonor God and set you up from trouble down the road. Real wisdom will never conflict with God’s Word.

Pro 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

What About You?

  • Do you have godly counselors? Do they encourage you to do right?
  • If not, where could you go to get better advice?

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