Prepare – James 3:13–18
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.
James’ letter to the Church emphasizes the goodness and beauty of wise living. He begins the letter with an invitation to the reader: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5
In a recent message on wisdom, I was able to share that wisdom is knowing what is right and doing it. Wisdom is the combination of insight, judgment, and knowledge. It takes knowledge of God’s Word, good judgment, and discerning insight to live wise. The book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job are all known for their work in helping us to be wise in life.
Allow the invitation of James 1:5 to settle in and become your prayer. Lord, today, give me wisdom. Help me to see what is here in this text for me to see. Help me to discern how to best understand these words and apply them to today’s reality. God, give me good judgment in the decisions and actions that I take today.
Reading James 3:13-18 slowly, what do you notice about wisdom that is sourced in God? Compare that to the “wisdom” in 3:15 that is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. What stands out to you?
When I read James 1:5 and 3:13-18, I’m reminded of another passage: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” – 1 Peter 2:12
We all have a role to play in living wisely in a fallen and broken world. Ask God to give you wisdom. Trust that He will. Take the next step of obeying the Lord’s leading in your life. Your life matters. How you live wisely speaks to a lost and dying world of our great Savior’s love for them.
~ Pastor Jonas Bundy