How to recognize the gift of wisdom

Ashley Dickson

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if Jesus were here on this planet walking and talking with us? Would decisions be easier? Would we feel more at peace? 

Well, the truth is, it’s better for the Holy Spirit to be here with us than if Jesus were here in the flesh (John 16:7).

Jesus didn’t leave us to wander this world alone. He left us a helper and guide. When you become a Christian, you receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us each specific gifts to use to better the Church and the world around us. 

In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, an early church leader name Paul is writing to Christians in Corinth and lists some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

The first gift Paul names in 1 Corinthians 12:8 is the gift of wisdom. This gift can easily go unnoticed. Wisdom is not flashy, but wisdom is necessary for the church to live and love like Jesus today.

Three Important Facts About the Gift of Wisdom

1. Wisdom is not the same as knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8).

Paul separates wisdom and knowledge as two different gifts from the Holy Spirit. Knowledge acquires facts and recites God’s truth. Wisdom knows when and how to apply God’s truth to a specific situation. When wisdom is put to use, a “knowing” truth turns into a skill of insight and putting God’s Word to work.

Wisdom knows when and how to apply God’s truth to a specific situation.

2. Wisdom is a unifier, not a divider (James 3:17). 

When difficulty arises or a decision must be made, someone with the gift of wisdom knows how to speak God’s Word over that situation in a way that moves people toward unity and peace. When voices sway opinions left and right, wisdom skillfully applies truth to turn everyone toward Jesus in disarming, loving way.

3. Wisdom comes from knowing Jesus (Colossians 2:3).

When someone is given the gift of wisdom, the more they dig into and marvel at God’s truth, the more treasures of wisdom they find. Time spent with Jesus through prayer, meditating on the Gospel, and learning biblical truth deepens and develops the gift of wisdom. Intimacy with Jesus is the secret place where wisdom takes shape. Therefore, a person who has the gift of wisdom is a person who spends time with Jesus.

Just as any gift is given freely, the gift of wisdom is given freely through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit plants truth deep within us to allow wisdom to flow forth in the time it is needed. 

If you have the gift of wisdom:

  • Read. Pour over God’s Word. Allow other teachers, pastors, and authors to also speak wisdom into your life.
  • Pray. Ask God to allow you to know Him and the riches of his wisdom. 
  • Confess your need for Jesus. Wisdom often allows us to recognize the need for God’s holiness in a situation, but the need for holiness should first start in our own hearts. 

 Not sure what your spiritual gifts are? Take this test then ask a godly friend or mentor whether the result lines up with what they see in you. 

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