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Wisdom in Action

James 3:1-18

Wednesday, 11 October 2023

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” -James 3:17

In the present world, quality information on any subject is available at the click of a finger. Despite all the advance, we see that the rate of crime, abuse, violence, broken families, and divorce have increased in the recent years. Today we have a generation that has access to so much knowledge yet lacks wisdom for godly living! In our reading portion, the apostle James emphasizes that our attitudes and actions will reveal the real source of our wisdom. While the world aims at attaining earthly knowledge, God’s Word reminds us to seek after godly wisdom.

Worldly wisdom and its perils (Vs 14-16): Wisdom that the world pursues is earthly, unspiritual and demonic. It originates from the lord of this world – the devil. Earthly wisdom is self-exalting and not God-centred, appealing to the emotions of the old man – bringing forth the sinful attitudes of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. The peril of worldly wisdom as James reminds us is that the corrupt fruit it produces in the bearer further results in rebellion, social disorder, vile and immoral practices. The ultimate end of seeking earthly wisdom is that man rejects God’s way of life and this leads to eternal death. Beware of falling into the enticement of pursuing earthly wisdom. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

Godly wisdom and its benefits (Vs 17-18): Wisdom by which a believer is to live this life in holiness comes from God Himself. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Heavenly wisdom firstly reflects in our relationship with God. ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) True wisdom brings in us a reverential fear of the Lord, enabling us to yield to the Holy Spirit and turn away from sinful ways. Heavenly wisdom is further revealed by our good conduct and actions. It is pure and undefiled, seeking not self will, but rather seeking the will of God. It is humble and peace-loving; avoiding strife and pursing peace with God and with those around us. Divine wisdom reflects in our gentle disposition and consideration towards others. It is not puffed up with pride but forgiving and compassionate towards others. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

Only by godly wisdom can we exercise self-control in taming the tongue, which if unchecked would bring division and destruction. The integrity of character of one who seeks godly wisdom is shown in their ‘impartial and sincere’ nature that does not waver in difficult situations. God’s wisdom in us enables us to pour out the love of Christ into this broken world, glorifying God and showing the world the way to the Saviour!

It is far more excellent and precious to seek heavenly wisdom that equips us for holy living (Proverbs 3:13-18). Let us remind ourselves of Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:15-16: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Prayer: Dear Christ Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, may I know You deeply that I may live wisely. (based on Colossians 2:2-3)



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