Celebrated in many countries on April 1st of each year, Aprils Fools’ Day is a day when people like to play practical jokes and tricks on each other.It is not a national holiday, but it is observed nationally in a big way in the United States.From the common “Your shoe’s untied!” to “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” to more elaborate shenanigans, such as setting a roommate’s alarm clock ahead an hour, there are countless pranks, hoaxes, and practical jokes that end up in the unsuspecting victim hearing the cry, “April Fools!”
The Boland family has also been known to play a few April Fools’ jokes on each other over the years . . . especially on me!
Now I’d like to look at the other side of the coin.Instead of practical jokes, let’s take a brief look at what the Bible has to say about wisdom through the pen of James:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.(James 1:5)
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.(James 3:17)
There is a HUGE difference between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of the Word.To be wise in the eyes of the world is to live for yourself and the satisfaction of your own selfish ambition.It is, to be blunt, to play the part of the fool.To be wise in biblical terms is to know and understand the things of God: to know God, to love God, and to serve God. It is to do what is pleasing in His sight.
Notice that James says if you lack wisdom you need only ask God.Why?Because God is the source—the only source of wisdom—and He grants it to those who sincerely seek it from Him. You may recall that Solomon asked God for wisdom and the Lord graciously responded. “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29).
James also makes it clear that there is a difference between the wisdom from above and the wisdom from below.Wisdom from below has self at the center of it; wisdom from above has the Savior at the center of it.Because God is the source of true wisdom, we see just how clearly wisdom is linked to godliness.“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,” Scripture assures us, “and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
If you want to know how rooted you are becoming in the wisdom from God, James gives us a simple guide for self-examination.Take a moment to rate yourself in the following key areas (0 = non-existent / 5 = maxed out).
Purity 1 2 3 4 5
Peaceable 1 2 3 4 5
Gentleness 1 2 3 4 5
Merciful 1 2 3 4 5
Fruit of the Spirit 1 2 3 4 5
Without hypocrisy 1 2 3 4 5
The person who is wise in the eyes of God is not perfect.Rather, this person is making progress because of the “new” heart that has been implanted within by God Himself.As new creations, we have new desires, new dreams, new goals, and new reasons to do everything.As my spiritual father D. James Kennedy used to say, “God has changed your wanter!”You don’t want what you once wanted and you do want what you never imagined you would ever want.You begin moving in new directions and your heart begins beating for new passions.
God is the fountainhead of all true wisdom, and the more we drink from His fountain, the more we are filled with His wisdom.And the more we are filled with His wisdom, the less we are being filled with the wisdom of this world, which is no wisdom at all.
This is the Gospel.This is grace for your race.NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!