How can you discern if you just heard or experienced something that was wise or was it just a wisecrack that had little value? The cacophony of voices around us today make this discernment essential for Kingdom leaders. But was it something that was clever or truly founded in God’s wisdom? Many things sound right, but upon reflection or execution we discover that they were poorly conceived. How do we sort truth from error?
In James 3:17 we find a list of characteristics of God’s wisdom. These qualities can be used by us to help determine whether something is truly from the Lord or just an interesting idea.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
These seven characteristics of God’s wisdom can serve as a filter or a measuring rod with which we can evaluate whether some decision or solution is truly from the Lord. If it runs counter to these qualities, then we can assume that it is of the world and therefore needs to be either modified or rejected outright.
I’d suggest keeping this list close as all times. Memorize it so that the Lord can bring it to mind when you are in the heat of decision-making or problem solving. He will guide you through it. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
Wisdom or wisecrack? You frequently need discernment from the Lord to know the difference. Lead from the wisdom that comes down from heaven!