“A good example is the best sermon.”
This quote from Ben Franklins’ “Poor Richards Almanac”, could well have been inspired by reading the book of James.
This Sunday we’ll be reading James 3:13-18 where the theme begun in chapter two continues, but now James zeroes in on the topic of wisdom.
As with faith, James tells us that true wisdom is functional. It must have a practical demonstration in the lives of those who embrace it.
As you read this passage, what essential trait does James describe for wisdom that comes from God?
How does James describe wisdom that lacks that essential trait?
If you use v 17-18 as a guide, how would you describe wisdom as James sees it?
Read 1 Cor 13 – what, if any, correlation do you see between what Paul says and what James says in our passage?
Looking forward to exploring this further with you on Sunday!
5 thoughts on “The Right Kind Of Wisdom”
James speaks of wisdom and love that comes from above and so does Paul. Without God, none of our works mean anything. And without Him we usually act selfishly. When we act in Him it is wisely and with love, selflessly.
You can talk a good game, but it’s impossible to fake true wisdom. True wisdom is pure and can only come from God. The results that follow true wisdom are peace and order. The results that follow someone who seems to talk a good game but whose true motive is only self, are chaos and strife.
A person who has been given true wisdom by God has been humbled and knows that wisdom is not and never could be his own. There is no way to be wise without love. Love (God) is patient, love (God) is kind… God is love, and wisdom is born from this.
It’s so easy to spew God’s words from the bible and sound wise, even to yourself. You can puff out your chest and be proud in the fact that you know so much. You can fool people into following your example and puff your chest out even more because other people think you know so much. But in that context, those words are morphed into a selfish, conniving, evil mess. If you look behind you and the wake from your path is large, loud and destructive… it’s time to rethink how wise and awesome you really are.
A man that has received wisdom from God knows that true wisdom isn’t in the words and that he should never have to look behind him to see the wake he has left in his path. Instead he looks to either side of himself to see the people he is lovingly holding hands with, or in front of himself to see the people God has used him to lift up, teach and send soaring. A truely wise man is joyful to be on the bottom rung. Joyful when he is able to put others higher than himself and when truth is revealed. Joyful when God, rather than himself is reognized for anything good coming from his actions.
Beautifully said Kris
What I really enjoy is remembering where (or from whom) all these come from. “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses flavor, how shall it be seasoned? …Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify you Father in heaven.”
It seems that wisdom and love are best expressed in how we handle relationships. Everything in God’s kingdom hinges on how we relate to our fellow men. God’s wisdom as referred to in James and His love as expressed in Corinthians both flow from that new spring we talked about last week. We have to choose to pull love and wisdom from the new man and fight operating out of those old habits and tendencies we had before Jesus came in and gave us life. That old stuff is earthly, sensual (from the natural or physical unspiritual realm). God’s wisdom is a river of refreshment for the thirsty.
I went to see The Odd Life of Timothy something..can’t remember his last name. Anyway, the child’s life was a beautiful example of this wisdom expressed. He was different in that he had leaves growing from his legs. He was ridiculed, belittled, picked on, demeaned and loved. In each relationship, good or painful, he responded selflessly in love and wisdom. This response softened the hard hearted, set the captives of shame free, convicted the self serving, and gave hope to the brokenhearted. Timothy said we have been given gifts to give away. Truly we have!! “Within us we have the ability to bring out the best in others” so true..thanks for that one Rob!!