What Is the Word of Wisdom?

October 7, 2019

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. … for to one is given the word of wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 12:4, 8a

The word of wisdom is the impartation of divine wisdom by the immediate intervention of the Holy Spirit. I have experienced this gift operating many times in the course of pastoral counseling. A good way to define this gift is it’s God’s solution to a seemingly impossible problem.

The Gift in Operation

We can see this gift in operation during the ministry of the apostles in chapter 6 of the book of Acts. A very sensitive dispute had arisen between two different cultural groups: the Hebraic Jews and the Hellenistic Jews. The Hellenistic Jews felt that they were being discriminated against so they took their complaint to the apostles. The apostles came up with a plan — a plan so brilliant that it was obviously God who had intervened and had given them the wisdom to resolve the problem between their two cultures.

God’s Gift of Wisdom

Recorded in Acts 15 is another difficulty over the relationship of the Gentiles to the law of Moses. Once again, we see God giving wisdom to the apostles to settle the differences in the church. As the conflict was resolved, verse 31 says that the believers “rejoiced“ and they were encouraged. This is the result of divine wisdom!

Just as those in the early church were often faced with problems beyond their natural ability to resolve, so we are faced with similar problems today. Whether they are difficulties in a church that call for divine wisdom or problems in our everyday lives relating to our families, our health, our jobs, or our finances, we can depend on God to give us wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5