A godly man or woman will be known by how they react to instruction, teaching, and rebuke. “By your fruits will you be known.” You will see through their response and know if they are wise and loving or foolish and vengeful. Everyone can see the error of others but hard to see their own.
True wisdom only comes through the fear of the Lord and submission to Him. From a desire to seek to please Him in all your ways. When a word of instruction or even rebuke comes will you stop, consider, and search your own heart to see if you have done wrong? To see if you have offended your righteous and holy God. Or will you be offended by the person pointing out your fault? That they even suggested that you did anything wrong?
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:9-10
If you want to be wise in God’s eyes, fear the Lord, love others, seek to obey His commands, follow His precepts, and continually humble yourselves before Him in everything you do. Even when you think you are right, you may just be blind to your own error. Stop and take a moment to examine your ways.
In this way, you will learn from your mistakes. The lessons God desires to teach you come through humble introspection. The willingness to stop and examine yourself and to quickly repent of your sins. If you can do this, your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Lord will expand day by day. Because you will be obeying God’s commands and that is what pleases Him.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
Many in this time and age are building up their own wisdom, they are relying on the opinions of others who agree with them to confirm if they are right. They live with a selfish point of view when all they do is seek those in agreement. Instead of seeking the one who wrote the standard on the subject. They become fools when they walk by their own standard, completely in error, and yet claim to be right.
They run to and fro to gain as much knowledge and wisdom of this world as possible. Even increasing their own Biblical knowledge, to attain some kind of intellectual stature. They puff themselves up with what they have learned or accomplished. But God says that such natural and worldly pursuits are futile.
But true wisdom that comes through fear and obedience to the Lord is far greater and has an eternal value. In this way, you are declaring that it is all because of God that you have become wise. It was not you but Him. This next scripture shows how those who obtain the wisdom of God will be greatly honored.
And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:3-4
But for the worldly wise man just to know all that they have attained does not satisfy them. They need the accolades of others. They desire to be puffed up with the applause of crowds. This is not wisdom. It is not from God. But it is foolishness and has no reward. In this world, foolishness and self-righteousness abound. But though godly wisdom is rare, it can be yours if you surrender everything to Him.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advise. The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. Proverbs 12:15-16
If you are not seeking God first, fearing Him at every turn, searching for the Holy Spirit to give you instruction and wisdom, and walking it all out in love, what good is it? If you do great and amazing feats in this world but it is without God’s love and wisdom, God says it is worth nothing.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If you want true wisdom, wisdom with eternal value, you must fear the Lord first. To do His will should be foremost on your heart and it must be accompanied by love. Anything that is done without God and others in mind can result in loveless pursuits. Increased knowledge puffs up with pride those who seek it and will be of no eternal advantage. Unless you fear the Lord, love others, and seek to honor Him, giving Him all the glory, it will have been all for naught.
We know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
So turn your focus from what you can do for yourself towards what you can do for the Lord. Seeking to do everything in His wisdom and love in everything. To do His works is opposite to how the world works. Remember those who seek to save their lives will lose them and those who lose their lives for His sake will gain it all.