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Famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who led his teams through the years to 10 national championships, died at the age of 99. He was known for his words of wisdom. He said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” and, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

The Bible says, Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? – I Corinthians 1:20. If God has made “foolish” the wisdom of this world, where can real wisdom be found? James said, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men shall be given him.  – James 1:5.

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge; the exercise of sound judgment. The promise in James is a general promise for all men. The Christian does not need to grope around in the dark hoping to somehow stumble upon the answer, James said, …it shall be given him. Every Christian should pray for wisdom because God promised to answer this prayer. One exception…no wisdom for the fool who despises it. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is practical discernment that begins with fear of, and respect for, God. It leads to right living and results in increased ability to tell right from wrong. God is willing to give us wisdom, but we will be unable to receive it if our goals are self-centered instead of God-centered. To receive wisdom, we must read God’s word, ask how to obey it, and do what God instructs us to do.

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