But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. ~James 3:17
Of the many virtues one should possess, wisdom should rank near the top. Wisdom is more than just education and knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to discern, prepare, and decide. Wisdom is to be loved (Prov. 8:17). Wisdom is a gift from God (James 1:5) Wisdom is acquired by following the instruction of wise people, through studying, and experience. James gives us a contrast between earthly and heavenly wisdom.
We see the unacceptable actions.
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” The believers whom James was writing to were in a spiritual civil war with each other. They boasted of being wise concerning the faith, but there was strife and contention in their actions towards each other. The root of their problem was bitter envying and strife in their hearts. This manifested itself in backbiting, harsh criticism, gossip, and partiality. Sadly, it was the people with spiritual influence (James 3:1) who were the guiltiest of causing this divisive behavior. What they boasted of and what they practiced was hypocrisy. James candidly describes what they were doing as earthy, sensual, and devilish. In other words, none of this was from God. Whenever our flesh gets in the way, we are headed for nothing but trouble.
We see the unabridged attributes.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” In order to correct this aberrant behavior, James describes heavenly wisdom. In other words, if you say you are filled with God’s wisdom, then examine the attributes of the wisdom that God gives. There are seven attributes that James gives. Seven is the number of God. These attributes describe the manner and motive by which we are to serve and deal with one another. Notice that these attribute demand that we are first pure in our heart motives. This means nothing undermining, mischievous and deceitful towards others. These attributes demand that we are kind, nice, gentle, approachable, exhibiting mercy, longsuffering, fair, and transparent. James goes further to classify these attributes of heavenly wisdom as the fruit of righteousness. Paul said in Eph. 5:9, “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.”
We see the unalterable application.
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” The demonstration of heavenly wisdom must be with meekness of wisdom. Meekness of wisdom is non-retaliatory and without malice. It is praying for our enemies, and looking for ways to heap coals of fire on their heads. It is being a servant and not trying to be “many masters.” It is sown in peace of them that make peace. This means that our practice of heavenly wisdom is as peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God,” Matt. 5:9.
Let’s be straight up: we are not wise men when our practices are lacking in the attributes of heavenly wisdom. Heavenly wisdom is being confrontational with the idea of forgiving, restoring, and serving. Today is the best day for us to “wise up” and to conform to God’s best practices of wisdom.
Have a wise God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 1-3