Wisdom is humble
There are different ways to think about a wise person.
Wisdom might make you think of a reclusive mystic who has special spiritual insight. Or someone who is good with money and other practicalities.
The Bible puts something else at the centre of wisdom: humility.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 13:10
And this is why wisdom doesn’t come naturally.
Why is wisdom so hard?
We’ve all had that ‘hindsight cringe moment’. We look at a past situation with a fresh pair of eyes and cringe at our stupidity. ‘Why did I say that?!’ ‘Why did I act so foolishly?!’
It’s likely we did it because we were acting in pride. We wanted to have the last word and so half-seriously, half-jokingly threw shade when someone irritated us.
We thought we understood all God has to say about romantic relationships and so didn’t consult a friend or older person before pursuing one.
Wisdom is hard because it is closely linked with humility. And in our sin, we naturally lean towards pride.
How can we become wise?
However, as we walk the Christian life, we’re called to grow in wisdom (Romans 16:19). And we’re told how to do so:
‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.’ Proverbs 9:10
This kind of fear doesn’t mean cowering away from a God who cannot be known. Rather it means that wisdom starts with deep respect and awe for God.
It means considering this almighty God who created the universe; it means being humbled that he could adopt us as his children (Ephesians 1:5).
This God opposes the proud (James 4:6). But as a loving Father, he won’t withhold his wisdom from his children (James 1:5).
It just takes humility to ask.