My Google Box defines Wisdom as a noun that means
But I know better than to believe everything I read on the interwebs. For instance, I know that the Morgan Freeman isn’t dead. I know that a 1% tax on all bank transactions isn’t happening. I know that Mitt Romney wasn’t a draft dodger. And I know, for a fact, that Wisdom is a verb.
Here’s the definition I’m choosing to use from the Letter of James, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.” Wisdom is shown by good works and gentleness of spirit.
I know that Wisdom is a verb mostly because I’ve seen plenty of people act without it. I’ve received hundreds of email forwards that were filled with angry and fearful speech. I’ve heard dozens of comments that are based not in gentleness of spirit on a myriad of topics from elections to education, from child-rearing to service music, from the cost of oil to the use of food stamps. I’ve witnessed thousands of seemingly innocuous self-centered actions, that if only wisdom had been enacted, the world would be a far better place.
This is, of course, nothing new. James didn’t have the joy that is email, but he saw plenty of wisdom lacking in his own world as well. “If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.”
I’m reminded today that one of the items on my regular prayer list should be Wisdom, all the while knowing that God won’t be giving me any nouns. Rather, I’ll have the chance to live out God’s Wisdom as a verb.