Being the right kind of wise guy


James 3:13 “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”

Are you a wise guy?

Wisdom is a virtue for which we all should strive. But usually someone referred to as a wise guy thinks more of himself than he should. This person always has the answers and won’t listen to reason. His smart retorts and sarcastic remarks are meant to belittle others and highlight his own cleverness. Worldly wisdom of this sort does not endear itself to people or originate with God. If you want to be the right kind of wise guy then you must seek the wisdom from above.

Worldly wisdom – labeled earthly, natural, and demonic – is fallen man’s default. It is characterized by jealousy and selfish ambition. Those who promote only themselves use or step on others to get what they want. They arrogantly ignore personal foibles and exalt themselves without thought of the relational consequences. Sadly, these wise guys who make it to the pinnacle suddenly find the space is small. They are alone and miserable. The downward spiral of their lives creates chaos and every evil thing.

Wise guys pursuing the wisdom from above have different goals. This wisdom is characterized by purity, peace, gentleness, reason, and abundant mercy. In humility these reach out to others with a willingness to grow in knowledge and promote goodwill. They are skilled at handling people and even under provocation gently seek to restore peace. This wise guy or gal represents Christ well through the power of His Spirit who gives the grace needed to live in this way. The results are a peaceful heart and the fruit of righteousness.

We all know both types of people – those who have used us or ignored us and those who have made us feel loved and important. The real question is what type of person are you?

Do you struggle with jealousy and selfish ambition? Consider the consequences. Choose to reject worldly wisdom that tempts you to advance only your own personal interests. Instead ask God to give you the grace you need to pursue His standards. Your good behavior and deeds done in the gentleness of wisdom will please God, bless others, and prove you to be the right kind of wise guy!

By Sandra Sheridan

Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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