Rooted in Christ

Want of Wisdom

Wisdom is skill in living biblically.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). 

I am what you might call directionally-challenged. Unlike my wife, my sense of direction is severely impaired. For me the greatest invention of technology is the GPS. 

The thing is, the Bible says we are all directionally-challenged. As the proverb puts it: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” We have a built-in misalignment. Left to our own, we can easily go astray. That is precisely why we need wisdom. 

Wisdom is skill in living biblically. That skill is no more urgently needed than in the turmoil of trials. When we panic, we can act reflexively and impulsively. But that sort of reaction does not usually lead us in the way our God wants of us, and certainly not in a way to capitalize on the trial He has brought to us and which carries His purposes for us in it. 

The key to employing wisdom is that it is oriented properly. A compass functions as it should when it is set to due north. Due north for wisdom is the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” the proverb informs us. 

The idea of such fear is that God be given the glory that is His due. It is to acknowledge Him in all who He is, in all He reveals Himself to be. With a proper view of God comes a proper view of self. He is the Creator; we are the creature. Operating in the fear of the Lord brings that distinction and dependence to bear in navigating the trials of our lives with wisdom. 

“Father, grant me a heart of wisdom that begins with fear of You.”

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale