James 1:5


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


Read more from NKJV Study Bible

1:5 The wisdom God gives is not necessarily information on how to get out of trouble but rather insight on how to learn from one’s difficulties (see also Prov. 29:15). It is not more information about how to avoid times of testing but instead a new perspective on trials. The wisdom of God begins with a genuine reverence for the Almighty (see “the fear of the Lord” in Ps. 111:10; Prov. 9:10) and a steadfast confidence that God controls all circumstances, guiding them to His good purposes (Rom. 8:28).

James 3:17


17 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.


Read more from Expositors Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament

17 In contrast to the denial of v.15, James turns to a description of "the wisdom that comes from heaven." Its basic characteristic is "pure". The reference is not to sexual purity but to the absence of any sinful attitude or motive. It is the opposite of the self-seeking attitude of vv.14-16. From this inner quality flow the outward manifestations given in the rest of the verse.

James goes on to describe this wisdom as "peace-loving", in contrast to the bitter spirit of competitiveness and selfish ambition described in v.14. Next, it is "considerate". In the LXX this word is used mostly of God's disposition as King. He is gentle and kind, although in reality he has every reason to be stern and punitive toward people in their sin. God's people also are to be marked by this godlike quality, not insisting on their legal rights but exercising love's leniency instead.

Likewise, godly wisdom is "submissive". This quality is the opposite of obstinacy and self-seeking; it is a readiness to yield. Furthermore, it is "full of mercy and good fruit." That is, it is compassionate and always ready to help those who are in need. It is "impartial", showing no favoritism, and discriminating against no one. Finally, this wisdom is "sincere" (lit., "without hypocrisy"). Far from being theoretical and speculative, James's concept of wisdom is thoroughly practical. It is the understanding and attitude that result in true piety and godliness.

Proverbs 3:13 - Proverbs 3:18


13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.

16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.


Read more from NKJV Study Bible

3:13–18 Happy: The beatitudes of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3–12) work much the way these verses do. The Hebrew term blessed is an explosive word: “O the manifold happiness of” (see Ps. 1:1). It implies that God is truly pleased. The person who has discovered wisdom has found a priceless treasure. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and forbidden access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:22–24), but wisdom is another tree of life and will begin to restore the lost happiness of Paradise.