"Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts … Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." James 3:13, 17-18, Message
It's easy to tell when we are operating in God's wisdom or in the wisdom that comes from our own selfish ambition, pride or the enemy's influence. Been irritated lately? Frustrated when people don’t agree with you? I hope you find encouragement in today’s devo...
When we operate in God's wisdom – it's easy to get along with people. Look at the characteristics of godly wisdom: there is a desire to get along with others rather than the desire to look for a fight.
One version of the Bible says it this way, "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." (NKJV) Wisdom from above is pure, peace-seeking, gentle, willing to reason, full of mercy, impartial, sincere and genuine. Godly wisdom treats others with dignity and honor. Wisdom from above doesn't have a selfish "agenda."
Wisdom from "below" is hot-tempered, rude, mean-spirited, selfish, hypocritical, or unfair. Look at a few other verses of this same passage in James: "Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom — it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats." (James 3:14-16, Message)
When we operate in God's wisdom – God can actually bless our endeavors! We may not see eye-to-eye on everything with everyone, but we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable. If we do the hard work of getting along with one another, we can develop a healthy, robust community that is congruent with the Lord's heart and purposes.
In this day and age, it's obvious that we need God's wisdom more than ever. May we seek Him and His wisdom in a greater way and may the fruit of the wisdom that comes from above be evident among us!
Say It: “Father, help me operate in the wisdom that comes from above. Help me resist the temptation to operate in the wisdom that originates in deceit, my own selfishness and in the devil's motivations. I thank You in advance for the good fruit that comes from godly wisdom! In Jesus' Name, Amen.”