“Your Work Is Not Your Life.” “Burnout to Flourishing.” These recent magazine article titles reflect our need to find wisdom that can help us live well.

Whether it’s making decisions at work or dealing with personal trials, time and time again we experience the pressing need to be wise. The pursuit of wisdom, however, is often confused with the pursuit of gaining more knowledge. Reading books, attending classes, or pursuing higher education may prove helpful, but one doesn’t naturally become wiser from these things. And while experience may count, age doesn’t necessarily translate to wisdom. Something else is required.

The Bible tells us it’s the “fear of the LORD” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). Bible teacher Lawrence E. Toombs explains, “Wisdom is to be found with God, and nowhere else; and unless the quest for wisdom brings man to his knees in awe and reverence, knowing his own helplessness to make himself wise, wisdom remains for him a closed book.”

We understand why if we look at what true wisdom looks like. In James 3:17, the apostle lists seven marks of the wisdom that comes from God. These verses show us that being wise isn’t a matter of intellectual capacity, but an attitude, a character trait, and essentially, a life reflecting Jesus that flows from Him. It’s the fruit of someone who walks with God, fearing Him and being led into wisdom as He leads.

To navigate successfully through life, making decisions that honor God, requires that we seek the Source of all wisdom. As James exhorts, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (James 1:5). Yes, call out to God; He alone can give you the wisdom to live wisely for Him.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 2:41-52