Who is wise and understanding among you? James 3:1a
Wisdom is more than knowledge and accumulation of information. In Proverbs, we learn that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In the teachings of Jesus, we learn that the wise person is rooted in God’s truth and character. They hate injustice and evil. They love righteousness. They are alert and ready for His return. Wisdom is a manifestation of faith and spiritual living.
So, how do we know if we have wisdom that is from God and not from the world? James offers a series of tests by which we can verify the genuineness of our faith, because when we are truly saved and genuinely know God, we display wisdom that looks and acts like it is of God. The wisdom we display is a reflection of our heart condition.
James tells us that ungodly wisdom looks like BITTER JEALOUSLY and SELFISH AMBITION. It is a life of self-focus, protecting our turf and wanting more for ourselves.
Wisdom from the world looks like attitude and action based on self...comparison, tension, competition. It looks like drifting with the tides of culture and ego, rather than an anchoring in God’s ways. It looks like personal gratification...no humility, no love, no seeking the interest of others. James further gives us a picture of the consequences of earthly wisdom in action, “there will be disorder and every vile practice.” It wreaks havoc on us and those around us.
Wisdom from God looks vastly different. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17) Pure motives. Love of peace. Humble. Patient. Forgiving. Yielding. Merciful. Compassionate. Reasonable. No partiality. No hypocrisy or hidden motives.
God, please fill us not with simply more knowledge, but with YOUR love and wisdom. Let our life be a reflection of You.
Questions: How does the wisdom you display look? Does it look more like wisdom from God or the world?