Thursday April 28, 2022
Scripture James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Life Lesson: There is earthly wisdom and then there is wisdom from God, but mark it, earthly wisdom will fight furiously against godly wisdom and godly wisdom will overcome earthly wisdom through the power of peace.
– James sets the imagery for us of what wisdom that is from God looks like by describing it as flowing from good deeds done in humility. Wisdom from God does not boast in and of itself, it does not point to itself and demand public recognition.
– It is earthly wisdom that is self-serving, boastful, prideful, arrogant, rude and envious. Those who harbor earthly wisdom refuse to give praise or compliments to others because of their personal insecurities, in fact they hate it when others succeed and rejoice when others fail.
– Bitter envy is a venomous poison to the soul. Selfish ambition is quick to trample on others in an effort to promote oneself. Yet, those who live this way will often times boast in what they believe to be their accomplishments even as they scoff at the misfortunes of others.
– James rightly refers to such “wisdom” as “earthly, unspiritual, and demonic”.
– Paul writes in 1 Cor. 3: 18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
– James describes wisdom from God in this way, “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” There is a stark contrast between the wisdom that comes from heaven and earthly wisdom. It is the difference between being selfish and envious, and being considerate, merciful and submissive. One exalts in itself, the other lifts up their fellow man! One is, “me” centered, the other is Christ-centered!
– Whereas the wisdom of this world causes people to fight against one another, the wisdom that comes from heaven is revealed in our peace, our love and our kindness toward others.