Do You Trust the World or God?

Do You Trust the World or God?
by Sherri Bergmann

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

When comparing worldly knowledge vs. Godly wisdom, there are three stark differences:

  1. Worldly knowledge focuses on “I/Me”; Godly wisdom focuses on love for God and others.
  2. Worldly knowledge tells us to advance our cause; Godly wisdom advances His cause.
  3. Worldly knowledge causes trouble, Godly wisdom prevents trouble.

The following examples demonstrate the differences between worldly knowledge and Godly wisdom, and the impact of each:

  • Worldly knowledge:
    Seeing is believing.

    Godly wisdom:
    “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

    God may be invisible in sight, but the evidence of His existence is visible in nature, and in the lives that He transforms. For those who turn to Him, He reveals himself. He answers prayers. His Spirit is felt, and He moves mightily for those who call to Him.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    Every man for himself.

    Godly wisdom:
    “Whoever pulls away from others to focus solely on his own desiresdisregards any sense of sound judgment.” Proverbs 18:1
    The Bible has much to say about the selfish, and more about those who think of others and help them. The results between the two are that the selfish are cursed, while those who love others are blessed and flourish.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    Hate your enemy.

    Godly wisdom:
    “But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27

    In the late 1800s, stagecoach stationmasters were frequently targeted by Indians and scalped. However, in the cold winter in the barren Nevada desert, a stationmaster knew Indians were watching him. He had compassion for them and left food outside for them, as well as blankets to keep them warm. In return, they befriended him and warned him of oncoming attacks.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    Eye for an eye; get revenge.

    Godly wisdom:
    “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” Romans 12:19

    His ways are higher than our ways. Hate and revenge calls for a chain of actions that keeps everyone involved hostage in bitterness and anger that lead to more destruction. Instead of expecting and waiting for the one who wronged you to be punished by God, realize God may be working in their life. We receive God’s mercy when we don’t deserve it, and His correction when we do. He’s more interested in our redemption than He is in our destruction. His justice and timing is fair.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    “No one will ever know.”

    Godly wisdom:
    “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12:2-3

    “No one will know” is a common deception a fool says, and a bigger fool falls for. Jesus warned people of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. We also see this happen today, especially to politicians. Elusive activities conducted in secret are leaked and broadcasted around the world. Many lose their job, their family and friends, and for some, a prison cell becomes a long-term, or life-long residence. God’s commandments are not to restrict us, but to keep us free.  

  • Worldly knowledge:
    Keep up with the Joneses.

    Godly wisdom:
    “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4

    Everything God gives us is free and satisfying. We can’t buy what makes us feel content, secure and alive – such as having real love, joy and peace that comes from Christ. If we neglect God, and focus our efforts on envying and constantly trying to one-up our neighbor, what of real value have we achieved?

  • Worldly knowledge:
    My body, my choice.

    Godly wisdom:
    “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” Psalms 139:13-16

    He specifically created us from the moment of conception so that we could exist. He’s aware of us inside our mother.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    It’s okay to have an operation to alter your gender.

    Godly wisdom:
    “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27.

    When we change our gender, we distort and destroy God’s special design and can suffer unforeseen and harmful consequences.

  • Worldly knowledge:
    The world was formed from the Big Bang and all creatures evolved from the ocean.

    Godly wisdom:
    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” —Albert Einstein.

    “One way to learn the mind of the Creator is to study His creation. We must pay God the compliment of studying His work of art and this should apply to all realms of human thought. A refusal to use our intelligence honestly is an act of contempt for Him who gave us that intelligence.” —Physicist Ernest Walton, 1951 Nobel Prize winner in Physics; he became the first person in history to artificially split the atom.
  • Worldly knowledge:
    I don’t need to consult with anyone, I know enough.

    Godly wisdom:
    “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15

    We are limited in knowledge by our upbringing, our education, and what we read and learn. We know more than we did last year, we’ll learn more this year, and even more so in the future. To ensure success, go to God first, ask for wisdom, and consult with others. He gave us each other to help each other.

When weighing a decision, ask yourself if the options follow what the Bible says. Also, use the verse introduced at the beginning as a checklist to discern Godly wisdom:

Is it...
full of mercy and good fruit,

If any are not checked, revisit that and dig deeper.
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