These days are especially troubling. It is stressful, frightening, and difficult. In such times we often react out of fear, anger, and frustration. Some do a lot of finger pointing and complaining. Others exploit such times to promote their own agenda or for their own profit, wreaking havoc, violence and destruction. These things lead to division, fighting and much harm. According to James 3:13-18, wisdom teaches us differently.
Wisdom is seen in how we conduct ourselves (vv. 13-14). It calls for good behavior characterized by meekness. Meekness is not weakness but acting with gentleness and self-control. It calls for humility. Selfish envy and pride are contrary to the truth. Wisdom is more than words. It is who we are and how we live our lives.
Wisdom is from above (vv. 15-16). Heaven’s wisdom is not earthly. It is not of the flesh. It is not of the devil. It is not the cause of these troublesome times marked by so much confusion and evil. Wisdom is not of the world but from God.
Wisdom is first pure, then peaceable (v. 17). It begins with holiness. The truly holy are peaceable. They are gentle people. They listen and seek to get along with others. They are merciful. They are good people. They show respect to all people. They are sincere. They “pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
Wisdom is fruitful (v. 18). It is the fruit of righteousness. Righteousness is made possible by the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17). Only through Him can we be made right with God (3:21-27). He sets us free from sin to become slaves of righteousness (6:1-23). The righteous bring peace and reconciliation; this is our message to the world (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:13-18).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135