Dr. Stanley explains the difference between godly and human wisdom. Godly wisdom is the capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint and respond according to the principles of Scripture. Human wisdom is earthly, natural, and demonic. When it comes to making wise choices and experiencing God’s best, obeying Him is always the best way to go. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to intouch.org/tv.

start your day off right with the free

in-touch devotional subscribe today



in touch the Teaching Ministry of Dr

Charles Stanley reaching the world with

the Gospel of Jesus Christ next on in

touch living wisely or foolishly

why what a city known for its red

economy over all these years you’re


why would they go bankrupt

unwise decisions that probably started

years before

why would a family choose to buy a home

house that they know that they cannot


what they’re going to buy it anyway

unwise decision

why would a person marry just for a

sexual fulfillment

not thinking about other things

unwise decision

why would a person drink alcoholic


in front of their children

early in life

leaving them an image of their dad

sometimes being drunk

thinking nothing of the consequence very

unwise decision

when you think about the kind of your

life that you’re living would you say

that the decisions that you make in a

wise are unwise

I think about people who never consider

the will of God for their life

they make decisions based on what they

want how they feel what makes them feel

good or what other people think and

never asking what’s the will of the



unwise decision

and we could go through life thinking

about all the decisions that people make

for example

they Stack Up credit on their credit


to the point that they know they can’t

make the payments why do they do that

unwise decisions

people make unwise decisions because

they leave out the most important thing

in their life and that is the wisdom of

almighty God

what place does God have in your

decision-making process

you’re going to live it on your own are

you going to be wise enough to seek the

wisdom of God before you make any

decision so let me put it this way right

up front

before you make a decision you should

always ask this question

is this is this the wisest thing to do

there’s always an answer is this the

wisest thing to do whether it’s marriage

or whether it’s something Financial or

health or whatever it might be is this

the wisest thing to do

that’s always the right question whether

it’s major or minor is this the wisest

thing to do somebody says well I don’t

know what wisdom is we’ll come into that

but living wisely

is the best life

wisdom is a gift from God

living unwisely

is a very expensive lifestyle to every

aspect of our life

so when we turn to this passage of

scripture in a few moments what we

really see Paul doing is speaking to the

people of his day and those Corinthians

the Greeks they thought they were the

smartest folks in the world and probably

were in many ways very wise him and the

speaking but there’s a difference

between human wisdom and godly wisdom so

I want you to turn if you will to First

Corinthians chapter 3 and I want to look

at the 19th verse beginning with that

and the number of verses I want us to

consider here but I want you to keep

asking in your thinking

decisions that that are before you today

that when you get home today or maybe

tomorrow this week at the coming week’s

decisions you have to make are they

going to be wise decisions or unwise so

listen to what he says in this third

chapter beginning in verse 19.

and notice what he says for the wisdom

of this world

is foolishness before God look at that

the wisdom of the world is foolish as

before God the way the world thinks

apart from God

for it is written he is the one who

catches the wise and the craftedness you

don’t get away with it there are

consequences and again the Lord knows

the reasoning of the wise that they’re


he says it’s empty they make unwise

decisions so then let no one boast in

men for all things belong to you and so

he’s comparing Paul napolos and so he

says whether Paul or Apollo socos or the

world of life or death are things

present things to come all things belong

to you they were trying to compare the

preachers and so forth then he says and

look at this next verse

and you belong to Christ

and Christ belongs to God

when I think about single verses in the

description how powerful they are and

how full of meaning they are this Rises

to the top listen to this and you belong

the Christ

and Christ belongs to God


if we belong to Christ we belong to God

and I would ask you who do you belong to

you either belong to God through Christ

or you belong to the devil one of the

two some people say well I don’t believe

in the devil unwise believe

so with that in mind I want us to look

at this whole issue of wise and unwise

lifestyle and how people are living it

and the Scripture distinguishes it

between here so let’s look at was living

for a moment

and the first thing we want to do is

Define what do we mean by true genuine


Godly wisdom that’s real wisdom Godly

wisdom is doing things from God’s

Viewpoint how does he see them

and then responding to those things on

the basis of what the word of God


so if I look at things from God’s

Viewpoint where am I going to find that

I’m going to find it in the word of God

and so a person who says I don’t have

time for that bible stuff what you’re

saying is I choose to live a very

foolish life

I will make foolish decisions in life I

will suffer consequences I would never

have dreamed of if you’re so smart

that you think you can live your life

and live it happily or peacefully or

successfully or any other way apart from

the teachings of the word of God you are

playing the fool

it is foolish you cannot and the Bible

teaches it all the way through the

scripture by illustration where we can

never forget it so think about that it’s

the capacity to do things from God’s

Viewpoint and then on the basis of that

respond to them accordingly so you’re

facing a decision what’s the question

the question is this what is the wise

thing to do if I’m going to find that

out I need to turn to the source of all

wisdom that’s almighty God

to leave God out of your life is foolish

devastating and only a fool who hears

the word of God turns away

shuts their mind out says I don’t want

any of that because you’re not thinking

wisely you’re thinking foolishly

so when we look at this passage of

scripture and with that in mind think

about this God is omniscient

he knows everything

he knows about yesterday he knows about

the day he knows about tomorrow he knows

what happened yesterday perfectly you

and I don’t we only know what humans can

know God has absolute total complete

infinite knowledge about every single


he’s never behind because he knows the

past present future

nothing ever startles him or surprises

him he knows perfectly before during and


so it is only wise to consult one who

knows everything and who has never said

oh I forgot

oh I never thought about that he said

well what about so and so they went

through this problem this heartache this

burden this tragedy

not without God knowing it

not without God’s plan

and what he allows oftentimes is beyond

my comprehension

but that’s knowledge it’s not beyond the

wisdom and the knowledge and the awesome

plan of God

it’s the the world’s foolishness is just

that it’s foolish they think they know

when only God knows that’s why Believers

are set apart we are a part of the body

of Christ

we are set apart by God through his son

Jesus Christ to do what to allow him to

live his life in and through us we are

listen we are the walking children of

the Living God whose names are in the

Lamb’s Book of Life who are eternally

secure in him and who have him as our

God for every single day we can come to

him and ask him about any decision that

needs to be made and he is willing to

give us Direction

but if you don’t know him if you think

you see watch this and I say this not to

be smarter like how about it not to be

critical but to tell the truth that’s

the only thing I’m up here for to tell

the truth that if you live in

Disobedience to God what you’re saying

is I don’t need omniscience I don’t need

omnipotence I don’t I don’t need

omnipresence I can handle it in this

mixed up crazy Central Wicked vile world

that is a foolish conclusion

now through this conclusion we all need

almighty God all of us need him every

day and so when I look at these passages

and see what Paul said

in this particular passage he says the

wisdom of the world’s foolishness knows

of God

because you see if you took a grain of


and put it over here and all the beaches

of the world

that little grain of sand

in all the beaches of the world may be

equal to our knowledge and understanding

and wisdom apart from God we don’t have


we don’t have it if you don’t believe

look at the society in which we live

well look at what’s happening with to us

every single day you wake up one morning

and you hear this wake up the next

morning you hear that let me ask you

something when’s the last time you

looked at the television or read the

newspaper or heard anything about what’s

going on you just said finally a great

day has arrived no

it’s not true

so what do Christians do are we supposed

to be worried and frustrated and anxious

and fearful and going to bed I don’t

know what’s going to happen no we know

what’s going to happen listen we’re

sleeping in the presence of almighty God

who never sleeps who has all power all

knowledge of every single thing listen

we are his children

how foolish

to live apart from a holy God who has

made it possible to have everything we

need in Christ Jesus that’s wise for us

to have


human reason is deficient it takes Godly

wisdom to live the kind of life that I

know every single person really wants

deep down inside

and when we’re living wisely we’re going

to seek his guidance about all these


and if you’ll think about this a person

who is spiritually wise that is a person

who is spiritually wise they’re going to

be able to see things with their eyes

others do not see

they going to be able to hear things for

their ears others don’t hear this is why

somebody can say something to you very

persuasively or very arrogantly and

you’re a child of God walking in his

spirit and you know what they say they

send two messages here’s what you heard

them say here’s what they said

and there’s a lot of difference children

of God who are walking wisely are what

listen we have the wisdom of God

because that’s his desire and will for

our lives and the problem is if we

ignore that then we get in trouble we

think oh God where were you and God is

saying I’ve been here all along you

weren’t listening you listen to other

people you decided what you wanted not

what I wanted because I know what’s best

for you so when we’re living wisely we

will live a certain way and what is it

in essence to make it simple when we’re

living wisely we’re going to be able to

walk to the deepest darkest valleys of


we’re going to walk through paths that

we think there’d be no way to walk

we’re going to be able to walk through

situations and circumstances and

heartaches that we would never think we

could ever endure but when you walk in

wisely here’s what happens God says this

is the next step

and this is the next step and this is

the next step and this is the next step

you know why he doesn’t tell us a whole

story he knows we can’t you can’t even

fathom it sometimes you couldn’t stand

to know where God may lead you so what

does he do step by step and so we ask

him for Lord what shall I do in this

decision this is the step what shall I

do in this and you see if we just

decided we’re going to do it ourselves

we just go plowing through the

difficulty and the hardship and the pain

we find ourselves making mistakes

God remember he loves us enough to keep

us on the path

he loves us enough to keep her eyes on

things that are real and true and


but then there’s the other life

that there’s the people who live

foolishly so I want you to turn if you

will to uh let’s turn to James over to

James and um

I want you to look at this passage and

um in this third chapter and verse 13 he

asked this question and similar to what

Paul asked who among you is wise and


let him show by his good behavior

his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom

but if you have bitter jealousy

and selfish ambition in your heart do

not be arrogant and so lie against the

truth this wisdom is not that which

comes down from above but is Earthly

natural and demonic now I want you to

think about this for a moment

there are two different kinds of wisdom

that’s the wisdom of God and there’s the

wisdom that comes through man’s thinking

and I want you to notice how he

describes this he says this wisdom is

described in the following fashion

it is earthy natural and demonic now

what does he mean by that here means by

earthy that it’s limited to what man can

do it’s limited to man’s reasoning and

his thinking and his attempts and his

his accomplishments in life that that’s

that’s how limited that is well how

listen how smart is man today we might

be able to invent things and go to the

moon and this that another but can’t get

along with each other

and so we can think about all the things

that man’s Wisdom and his knowledge and

understanding without God can create

can’t do anything without God

it’s earthy

so that’s one part of the wisdom and

then secondly he says it is uh natural

that is we all have a naturalness in

this that is that part of us that that

part of us that does not want to obey

God that part of us that is subject to

Temptation that part of us that desires

our will in our way you may not yield to

it but all of us have that naturalness

in US

some people call it a Synergy color what

you want to but all of us have it

and so he says those who are walking


their wisdom is earthy doesn’t get


and secondly its natural sensual it

relates to the Fallen nature and um if

you recall in First Corinthians chapter

2 verse 14 he says but a natural man

doesn’t accept the things of the spirit

of God they’re foolishness to him and he

cannot understand them because they’re

spiritually praised so you’re getting a

discussion with somebody who doesn’t

believe what you believe about the Lord

Jesus Christ the god of holy things and

you know what we say well why can’t you

believe that and that you know why they

can’t because God said they couldn’t

apart from the spirit of God they will

not be able to understand the things of

God man’s knowledge it’s earthy it’s

very limited secondly it’s natural and

that is it’s corrupt

but then he says for example listen it’s


it’s rude is found in Satan himself

so go back to Genesis chapter 3.

everything was absolutely perfect

and Satan convinced Eve

she believed a lie

and look at the consequences

the many people today you may be one of

them you’ve listened to the devil’s lie

you’ve listened to him say to you you

don’t need God

those church people are weak you can

handle it you’re smart enough to handle

you got position you got money you got

intellect You Got Talent you don’t you

don’t need that religious stuff at all

mark it down

that is the voice of the devil

the word of God says it is demonic

it deals with your naturalness and that

earthiness a part of you and if you

listen to Satan’s lies he’s always going

to tell you well this is the easy way

the issue is this what is the wisest

thing to do

when you your children come to you and

they ask you what shall I do about this

that and the other what do you say to

them well let me think about it or do

you say to them uh no or why not because

I said so

why don’t you say to them

I’ve been thinking about that

and my conclusion is it’s not the wisest

thing to do

one thing we need to instruct our

children is to ask that question what is

the wise thing to do not what is

everybody else doing what’s the wisest

thing to do what in other words what

does God see on the basis of his

omniscience of knowing everything

omnipotence having all power I’m the

president’s being he’s in the middle of

everything you’re dealing with the

question is what is the wisest thing to


what is the wisest thing to do listen

sometimes the wisest thing for you to do

nobody will agree with it

but you know what remember all their

knowledge together can’t equal the

wisdom of God

you listen you can’t ever go wrong you

cannot ever go wrong obeying God never


so just because you don’t understand it

doesn’t mean that it’s not right

the wisdom of God who has all wisdom

knows all things about all people and I

can understand the rest of the afternoon

telling you giving you examples that

flipped to my mind about times that I’ve

obeyed God in times I haven’t

and it’s all it all goes back to what is

the wisest thing to do

now can you tell me a better question

than that

not really

because therein is almighty God and so

what he does he shows us here in this

passage of scripture in James here’s the

difference look at this in this third

chapter he says verse 13 WHO among you

is wise and understanding let him show

by his good behavior his deeds and his

gentleness and wisdom but if you have

bitter jealousy selfish ambition in your


do not be arrogant and lie against the


look at this this is a group of people

who think they’re wise this wisdom is

not that which comes down from above but

it’s Earthly natural demonic

and you and I live around people and

work around them that’s true of them

they think

they have the right answer they leave

God out of it and in their arrogance

they tried to prove to you why they’re

right that they may have position and

talent and scale and intellect and find

it they may have all that does that make

them wiser than you no

they may be smart in many areas but when

you leave God out of your life you’re

not smart at all that’s just demonic and

that falls in the category of living

your life earthy natural and demonic

look at that jealousy self-ambition and

if you’ll notice uh here on them a

little bit further

he says but the wisdom that’s from above

is first listen to this pure look at

that God’s wisdom is pure that means it

is absolutely perfect

do you get that it is absolutely perfect

wisdom it’s pure

and Peaceable

his wisdom will bring you peace gentle

there’s nothing harsh about it

reasonable reasonable listen from God’s

Viewpoint full of mercy and good fruits

unwavering without hypocrisy that’s the

wisdom of God listen would you not agree

that it’s foolish to choose something

else look at that Passage

the wisdom from above that’s God’s

wisdom pure

Peaceable gentle reasonable full of

Mercy good fruits unwavering without

hypocrisy that’s kind of life I want to

live amen

now what did he say up here

jealousy selfish ambition

disorder and every evil thing

only two choices in life

you can choose to live wisely

you can choose to live unwisely and may

I say this you’ve already made that


wherever you are you’re walking in the

pathway of the wise are you walking in

the pathway of the unwise change paths

if you’re walking on wisely

listen you’re not smart enough you may

think you are but you’re not

apart from almighty God through the

saving person of Jesus Christ who

forgives us of our sin cleanses of our

sin writes that name in the Lamb’s Book

of Life

has a will for us

and lives presently within us through

his holy spirit he will give us wisdom

in every single decision we make in life

there is no other way to live

you can trust him he’s not going to

change on you about anything you have

two choices live out your life wisely

living obediently before him

living in wisdom

or you can live foolishly

convince a lot of people

do a lot of things go a lot of places

have a lot of stuff

then you’re gonna die

and my friend

when the last seconds of your life come

I have a strong feeling

you’re gonna wish

you had listened

the most tragic thing you can do

is die without Christ you know why

because the consequences are eternal

may not live the best life in the world

as a Christian

not have a lot of stuff may not have any

degrees behind your name

without having a notoriety most people

never know your name’s not in the

newspaper they even know that stuff

but you live for God

you’ve walked obediently before him

you see God’s values not the same as


what he thinks

is absolutely awesome it’s not what the

world thinks

so make it be mine

you can live wisely

are you going to live foolishly

you’ll be wise if you choose Christ in

his way of life

and that’s my prayer for you

father how grateful we are that you’ve

made it simple

and knowing that you loved us enough to

send Jesus to die for us and play our

sin that in full

you must have an awesome love for us

and so we want to be obedient to you

because we’re the ones who end up

profiting from that in so many ways

and I pray that every person who listens

to this message

well think



and realize that they’ve only heard the


it is upon him the man wants to die and

after this the judgment

but all sin can be forgiven

by asking and believing and trusting

we love you dear father we thank you for

the awesome gift of your grace to all of

us in Jesus name