James 3: 13-18…..Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Comment: This is such a punch filled passage that it pays to think very seriously about our own lives. That of course is exactly what James wants us to do! He links a series of things together.

  • Wisdom and understanding. Understanding (knowledge) is not equal to wisdom. Be wise, he says.
  • Good conduct and meekness of wisdom. James says a lot about works and here he ties work with meekness. That makes good sense or else your good works become self-righteous works.
  • Jealousy and selfish ambition leading to boasting and lying.

That sort of behaviour is demonic leading to disorder and vile practices. It is not the wisdom which is from above. The list above is followed by a list of the virtues of true wisdom.

  • It is pure, peaceable, gentle, rational, merciful, impartial, sincere and produces a rich harvest of peaceful righteousness.

Prayer: Oh that the world were filled with the wisdom from above, O God!

One thought on “James 3: 13-18…..Wisdom

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments. The old “green-eyed dragon”. I still remember when Darryl and I were ministering at the Mount Barker BC from 1967 to 1971 there was an older couple, and the husband was the Church Secretary. Unfortunately, these two held the “power” in the Church, especially at the business meetings. They intimated everyone else, and no one wanted to go against them. I was talking one day to one of the church members in the store where she worked, and I knew that I could say something to her about this lady and her husband and their desire to “control” everything. This lady I was speaking to said, she felt that the “green-eyed dragon” was causing this couple to do what they were doing. Jealousy of course, comes from the heart, as does every other sin. But jealousy can cause many harmful things to happen to others, unfortunately. “Wisdom that comes from God is first of all utterly pure, then peace loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions with no breath of favouritism or hint of hypocrisy.” JB Phillips translation.

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