Who is a Wise Person?
In today’s world, it is so important to be able to distinguish a wise person from a foolish person. People everywhere are claiming to be wise. But who is a wise person? How do you tell?
A wise person is one who lives according to the principles of wisdom. True wisdom only comes from God and can be found in the teachings of the Bible, which is the wisdom of God. A wise man can only be determined by the source of wisdom, Almighty God.
A wise person is one who understands the will of the Lord. God’s will is His Word. His will was displayed in the life of Jesus.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17
Jesus said that the difference between a wise man and a foolish man is their choice of whether or not to do the things that the Word of God teaches. He said that the wise man and foolish man both heard the teachings, but the one who chose to do them was the wise man.
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. Matthew 7: 24-27
Who you decide to follow, listen to, and allow to influence your life will make an enormous difference in the outcome of your life.
Many people may appear to be wise at first glance, but in closer examination of their life, if they are not walking according to the wisdom found in the Bible, they are not truly wise. This may be hard for some people to agree with, but it is the truth.
Choose Your Friends Carefully
If you choose to walk with those who are wise according to the Bible, you will become wise with them. If you choose to walk with the foolish, you will be destroyed. This sounds harsh, but it is exactly what the Bible says.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
The foolish are everywhere. They are dressed in suits and teaching in universities. They are coaches, politicians, and leaders in every area of society, but are indeed foolish according to God. We are instructed not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, yet we pay thousands of dollars to have them teach our children! Something is wrong with this.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; Psalm 1:1
I do want to add that there is a difference in walking through life as a companion with someone and just being an influence in someone’s life. Jesus was a friend of sinners in that he influenced them and mentored them as the Father instructed Him. He did not join with them in their lifestyle of sin.
The Importance of Choosing Wise Friends
The Bible contains several warnings to us about who we choose to do life with. It states that even the righteous can be led astray when they choose the wrong friends.
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26
Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. 1 Corinthians 15:33
I can’t tell you how important it is that we heed what the Word says in this area. I have never seen anyone go astray without first joining themselves with an unwise person in some form. The devil constantly uses wrong relationships to lead people astray.
Discerning the Wise from the Foolish
It can be so easy to be deceived by a person if we don’t know how to discern the wise from the unwise. This is something we should always be praying- Lord open our eyes to be able to spiritually discern the wise from the foolish.
Many people can appear wise, but God is the only one who determines what real wisdom is. How can we look at someone’s life and determine if they are wise? It is critical that we learn to do this so that we can choose wise friends and wise people to influence us.
Again, I want to make the distinction that we are not supposed to completely avoid people who are unwise or we would have to go out of the world! But we should, as Christians, obey what the Word says and not be yoked together with unbelievers.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them.I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
We are to love unbelievers, but not be a friend of them to the degree that we are led astray by their ways. If you believe that you can spend your days with the foolish and not learn their ways, the Bible says that you are deceived. It is so important that we choose our friends carefully.
Who is a Wise Man According to the Bible?
Thankfully, the Bible gives us so much insight into how to perceive that someone is wise. We can look at a person’s life and compare it to the description of a wise person according to God. Wisdom can only come from God. There is no true wisdom or counsel apart from Him.
There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30
There is an earthly wisdom, which the book of James tells us is sensual and demonic.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3: 13-17
We must not be deceived by this demonic perversion of true wisdom. So let’s look at the characteristics of a truly wise man according to the Bible.
What are the Characteristics of a Wise Man?
- The wise will hear and increase learning. (Proverbs 1:5)
- The wise will attain wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)
- The wise will inherit glory. (Proverbs 3:35)
- The wise consider the way of the ant- they have no captain, overseer or ruler but they provide their supply in the summer and gather food in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6)
- The wise hear instruction. (Proverbs 8:33)
- The wise love the person they are rebuked by. (Proverbs 9:8)
- The wise become wiser when they are given instruction. (Proverbs 9:9)
- The wise increase in learning when they are taught. (Proverbs 9:9)
- The wise make their father glad. (Proverbs 10:1)
- The wise gather in summer. (Proverbs 10:5)
- The wise in heart will receive commands. (Proverbs 10:8)
- The wise store up knowledge. (Proverbs 10:14)
- The wise restrain their lips. (Proverbs 10:19)
- The wise win souls. (Proverbs 11:30)
- The wise heed counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)
- The wise promote health with their tongue. (Proverbs 12:18)
- The wise heed their father’s instruction. (Proverbs 13:1)
- The wise person’s teaching is a fountain of life to turn one away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:14)
- The wise walk with other wise men and abide among the wise. (Proverbs 13:20) (Proverbs 15:31)
- The wise woman builds her house. (Proverbs 14:1)
- The wise use their lips to preserve themselves. (Proverbs 14:3)
- The wise fear and depart from evil. (Proverbs 14:16)
- The wise have riches as their crown. (Proverbs 14:24)
- The wise have the king’s favor. (Proverbs 14:35)
- The wise use their tongue to speak knowledge rightly. (Proverbs 15:2)
- The wise use their lips to disperse knowledge. (Proverbs 15:7)
- The wise don’t have scoffers coming to them. (Proverbs 15:12)
- The wise make their father glad. (Proverbs 15:20)
- The wise person’s way of life wind’s upwards. (Proverbs 15:24)
- The wise hear the rebukes of life. (Proverbs 15:31)
- The wise foresee evil and hide themselves. (Proverbs 24:23)
- The wise appease the king’s wrath. (Proverbs 16:14)
- The wise are called prudent. (Proverbs 16:21)
- The wise teach their mouth and add learning to their lips. (Proverbs 16:23)
- The wise do not mess in quarrels not their own. (Proverbs 24:23)
- The wise will rule over the foolish. (Proverbs 11:29)
- The wise will receive rebuke. (Proverbs 17:10)
- The wise hold their peace. (Proverbs 17:28)
- The wise do not isolate themselves. (Proverbs 18:1)
- The wise seek knowledge with their ears. (Proverbs 18:15)
- The wise listen to counsel and receive instruction. (Proverbs 19:20)
- The wise do not show partiality in judgment. (Proverbs 24:23)
- The wise are not led astray by wine or strong drink. (Proverbs 20:1)
- The wise do not tell the wicked they are righteous- they rebuke the wicked. (Proverbs 24:23)
- The wise receive knowledge when they are instructed. (Proverbs 21:11)
- The wise have desirable treasure and oil in their dwelling. (Proverbs 21:21)
- The wise guide their heart in the way. (Proverbs 23:19)
- The wise are strong. (Proverbs 24:5)
- The wise turn away wrath. (Proverbs 29:8)
- The wise hold back their feelings. (Proverbs 29:11)