Knowledge is the measure of success in this world. Knowledge can help you excel in studies, career/job, but wisdom is necessary for a person to excel in life. Wisdom is big basket which includes knowledge, experience and judgement. Wisdom can be earthly or heavenly. Heavenly wisdom has virtues while earthly wisdom have traits which acts as indicators. The test for my wisdom would be based on the related characteristics. We shall ponder over them in greater detail. You can read James 3:14-17,
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 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.
Traits of earthly wisdom
The test for earthly wisdom is positive when we see any of the below mentioned quality traits.
- Bitter envy: Envy is the feeling of longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Envy is kindled primarily by discontentment which is aroused by earthly wisdom. Discontentment breeds resentment.
- Selfish ambition: Motives that are directed towards one’s own self is selfish ambition. When a person places his/her desires, will, comfort instead of fellow beings is being selfish. Selfishness is a result of narrow-mindedness begot from earthly wisdom.
- Disorder: Disorder is a state of confusion. A person with earthly wisdom would never be stable; their thoughts and deeds would be unpredictable because they are person-specific or situation-driven. The temperament of the individual at a given point is directs their ways hence the disorderliness.
- Evil practices: Any ungodly practice is a fall out of earthly wisdom.
Earthly wisdom overflows with envy, selfishness, disorder and evil practices. When any of these qualities are present then it is branded as ‘earthly wisdom’. Earthly wisdom fails to related every activity of our life to our Maker. Earthly wisdom lacks the judgement required to acknowledge the fact that Christ is in control of every aspect of your life. And that nothing can move without His consent. Now we shall move on to the virtues of heavenly wisdom.
Virtues of heavenly wisdom
The test for heavenly wisdom is positive when we see all the characters given below.
- Pure: Being pure is not being adulterated or flawless. Being pure in words, thoughts and deeds.
- Peace-loving: Peace-loving is one step ahead of peace-making. A peace maker would strive to bring peace in a distress situation. While a peace lover would try to preserve the peace without any interference. Hence, peace-loving is a virtue of heavenly wisdom.
- Considerate: Being considerate is acting in a way that your ways will not cause interference or harm to the people around.
- Submissive: Being submissive is readiness to conform to the authority or the will of others. Submissive nature requires passive obedience.
- Full of mercy: Being full of mercy is showing compassion or forgiveness towards someone who is within someone’s power to punish or harm.
- Full of good fruit: Being full of good fruit is overflowing with goodness.
- Impartial: Being impartial is treating all disputes and rivals equally.
- Sincere: Be sincere is saying and doing what they genuinely feel or believe. Sincerity is the opposite of dishonesty or hypocrisy.
These qualities reside in those with heavenly wisdom. One can use these qualities as indicators to identify the type of wisdom. The presence of these qualities would brand them as ‘heavenly wisdom’.
Heavenly wisdom acknowledges the truth that each and every aspect of your life has a spiritual aspect. People with heavenly wisdom might wrestle against the powers of the darkness as mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’. Heavenly wisdom would help us to see the heavenly intertwining in every aspect of your life.