Wise & Understanding?

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  (James 3:13, NIV 1984). 

My Musings – While this is something that we need to examine as individual Christians, I wonder how we’ve been doing collectively as a Church? Deeds done in humility or deeds done in self-righteous self-piety?  How can we tell?  We don not need to have the world tell us, James provided a litmus test for us (individually and collectively).

  • Earthly Wisdom – If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:14–16, NIV 1984). 
  • Heavenly Wisdom – 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. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17–18, NIV 1984). 

Are we, as a Church raising a harvest of righteousness or are we sowing seeds of disorder and evil practices?  Are our tactics earthly and unspiritual or are they considerate and full of mercy?  As we mused a week ago, we do not wage war as the world does, nor do we change the world for Christ through earthly wisdom.

I know this is not the immediate context that James was addressing in his Epistle, but I think it applies in this context as well.

My AdviceWith the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. (James 3:9–10, NIV 1984). 

We expect people of the world to be caught up in earthly wisdom.  If we don’t exhibit heavenly wisdom towards them, they will never know what they are missing.

Inspired by Deacon Josh Johnson (Come to First | Come to First) sermon on January 24, 2021.  His sermon was much, much better.