Intelligence vs. Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in
the meekness of wisdom (James 3:13).

What do you think of when it comes to those in your life who are wise? What does wisdom look
like? Many people think of an old man with a long beard who sits silently in the corner and will
speak once in awhile. When he does it is always profound and his words are chalked full of deep

But is the ability to speak a message of profound insight into any number of situations the
nature of true wisdom? If you are a deep thinker does that make you wise?

James is saying something a bit different in our verse for today. He is saying that wisdom
might not just be the content of what you say but rather the way in which you live. Those who
are wise understand what is correct in a specific situation. They know that right thing to do.

Intelligence does not necessarily lead to wisdom. Understanding who God is and his will
is the essence of true wisdom. The Proverbs say that the true wisdom is found in the fear of the
Lord, in reverence for God and his ways. There many people in this world who are very
intelligent but have no fear of the Lord. According to God, they would not be deemed wise.
They would, in fact, be quite foolish.

Read Proverbs 9:10
• Where does wisdom begin?
• How does one gain insight?
• Why do you think this proverb is true?

Our Father, thank you for your revelation of yourself in your word and in Jesus. Through the
Bible and Jesus we can know you and in knowing you we know that true wisdom can be found.
Help us to continue to see. Where we are wrong please correct us. May our reverence for you
increase so that our wisdom can increase. May our lives display this for the world to see. In
Jesus’ name, Amen.