November 15, 2008

Wise and Foolish

James 1:2-8

If any of you lacks wisdom … ask God … and it will be given …
James 1:5


In this passage, James moves easily from the conviction of “not lacking anything” to the admission that we all may lack wisdom. Yes, unfortunately we all take turns when it comes to demonstrating foolishness.

But James considers lack of wisdom to be a treatable condition! If we need wisdom, we should ask the Source of all wisdom for his generous provision. That requires humility. We are most likely to be wrong when we are most convinced we are right. Recognizing our need for wisdom is a gift of grace.

We often ask for wisdom in the same trouble areas of our life—over and over again. It’s as though we can’t remember the wisdom we received just yesterday. A blind spot stays blank or a persistent stumbling block keeps putting us flat on our faces. Praying for wisdom in dealing with persistent temptation is likely a petition we will offer again and again.

We might expect that the Lord will eventually lose patience with us. After all, we often lose patience with ourselves. But James reassures us that God doesn’t become impatient. Nor does he say what others may be heard to mutter: “Why don’t you ever learn? You are too foolish to bother with.” Instead, God offers wisdom again and again—in the face of our foolishness. Are you asking for wisdom and receiving it generously? Thank God!

Lord, we ask you to be generous with us in our need for wisdom. Refresh us with your wisdom, again and again—and help us grow closer to you each day. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!