We all recognize that wisdom is a worthwhile attribute, a valuable commodity to be attained, and based on just this passage from James, it is clear that we are expected to have wisdom or at least be increasing in wisdom.
Look at what some people have said about wisdom.
It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again. Will Rogers
Wisdom – common sense to an uncommon degree. Piet Hein
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. Charles Spurgeon
When a man lacks wisdom his mind is always restless,
And his senses are wild horses dragging the driver hither and thither.
But when he is full of wisdom his mind is collected
And his senses become tamed horses obedient to the driver’s will.
Often wisdom is naturally attained through experience and age, but we don’t have to rely on hard knocks and birthdays to bring us to wisdom. Earlier in the book of James, there is clear direction on what to do if we lack wisdom, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
Wisdom, true wisdom is not a passive trait. It is better understood as an action word. James shows us this when he answers the question of who the “wise and understanding” are. “Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13b