Exploring the Book of Ya’aqov, Pt. 15

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by the good behavior—his actions in humility of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, boast not, nor lie against the truth: this “wisdom” is not descending from above, but is earthly, physical, demon-like. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above, first, indeed, is pure, then peaceable, gentle, cooperative, full of loving-kindness and good fruits, uncontentious, and unhypocritical; and the fruit of righteousness in peace is sown to those making peace. (יַעֲקֹב Ya’aqov 3:13-18, mjlt)

Who, indeed, is wise? For many of us, wisdom is only for the learned, the scholarly, those well-versed in the knowledge of the ages. For others, wisdom is for the experienced, the aged, those who have learned from the hard teachings of a long life. For others still, having wisdom is knowing the difference between right and wrong, and possessing the judgment or discernment to offer insight and guidance to others. But what if true wisdom and understanding are not simply based on how much we know—and on the nature of those things we know—but on where that wisdom comes from, and how it is put into use? What if what we think of as wisdom is not really wisdom at all? Read more