“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.”

James 1:5

Friday, 9 October 2020

James 3:13-18

Wisdom is the quality of being sensible, having experience, knowledge, being discerning and having good judgement.

Wisdom comes in different guises. We are wiser when we are open to listening and receiving from others, when we seek knowledge through reading and study. People, events and experiences can be our teachers and help us discern and make good judgements. But there is also a wisdom that comes from within. Each one of us, made in the image and likeness of God, has a store of interior wisdom. We find that hard to believe and yet, when we dig deep enough, we will find this wisdom in our hearts. When we get overwhelmed or are too busy to pay attention, we easily disconnect from that inner wisdom. We might even value the wisdom from without more than our own inner wisdom.

The truth is that we need both types of wisdom. When they are not held in balance, things go astray. If we live only from within, there is a great danger that we are held ransom to our emotions and our ego. If we live only from without, the danger is that we remain infantile, always looking for someone else to tell us what to do, and that diminishes us.
When we honour both, when they are in balance, we touch greater wisdom because God is the source and the balance. For both inner and outer wisdom, we are grateful.

St Ignatius Loyola knew the importance of balance – even though he struggled himself to find that balance! He believed and taught that we not only find God (wisdom) in ourselves – through our feelings and desires – but also through events, experiences and the people around us.

Do you honour both the gifts of inner and outer wisdom?

When have you used your inner voice of wisdom to make good decisions? Can you see how God is the source of both inner and outer wisdom in your life?

God all-knowing,

Thank you for the gift of wisdom that you have given me – the wisdom planted in my heart and the wisdom that comes through events, experiences and people. Help me to hold these in balance so that I can choose discerningly.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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