“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.”
With this verse, James transitions into dealing with the relationship between wisdom and personal conduct (3:13-18). If we are to control our tongues, we need wisdom. Divine wisdom produces right words and right actions.
Who is wise and understanding among you?
Wisdom is the ability to look at things from God’s viewpoint. The New Testament uses “wise” for proficient application of principle to experience. It is more than knowing facts about the Bible but the correct use of those facts. Wisdom is something God gives from understanding the principles of Scripture; it does not come from self.
1 Co 2:6-8, “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
This is the only time the New Testament uses the Greek word for “understanding.” A person with “understanding” is someone who is prudent, skilled, intelligent, experience, having expertise. This is a term of special mental perception or comprehension of God’s Word. It is someone who can apply his experience to the art of living a God-oriented life.
A wise and understanding person is someone who can apply principles to experience.
True wisdom and understand biblically comes from obedience to what we know. It is not a matter of accumulation of information.
There is a great difference between God’s wisdom and the wisdom of men. Those who walk in God’s wisdom walk differently from those who walk in the wisdom of men. The wisdom of God is spiritual. Biblical wisdom is not the accumulation of knowledge but the correct use of knowledge. This kind of wisdom shows itself in our conduct. We see it in what we do because wisdom shows us how to allow God to generate divine production in our lives.
The indication of a person possessing biblical wisdom is submission to the Holy Spirit. God is interested in those who are truly skilled in righteous behavior. We do not measure our wisdom by how much we know but by how much we apply.
Ac 6:3, 10, “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.”