wise old owl sat in an oak,

The more he heard, the less he spoke;

The less he spoke, the more he heard;

Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?

According to this old saying, wisdom is gained through silence and observation. Did the wisdom initiate the silent observation or did the silent observation give birth to the wisdom? A conundrumf for sure!

The letter of Jesus’ brother, James, gives a different method for gaining wisdom.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5

Simple as that! If you need it, ask for it and it’s yours. There is only one caveat. If you ask, you have to believe it is yours without wavering. Otherwise, James says, you display divided loyalty. Who do you really trust: God or the world?

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

James 1:6-8

The wisdom that God gives has very specific qualities about it. The world values wisdom that is shrewd, cunning and edgy. God’s values are very different!

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 

James 3:17

Today, I invite you to do a wisdom inventory. It seems like I am always in need of an extra measure of wisdom; these unusual times are certainly no exception. So, how is your wisdom tank? Full? Half full? Empty? Just ask, and a full tank is yours. Then check to see that your wisdom matches the criteria given above. If not, it might be a bad bunch and not from the Father above!

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