Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. - James 3:13
We all like to consider ourselves wise, don’t we? We typically think we know not only what’s best for us, but we also think we know what’s best for everyone else in our lives. Our children, our spouses, our bosses - if only they’d listen to us. But are we really wise according to scripture?
In the world, wisdom is generally equated with intellectual pursuit. A wise person is one who is well educated or holds a position of power or age. They tend to be confident in themselves and proud of their accomplishments, often boasting about what they know or what they can do.
People who are wise are generally regarded as knowledgeable, able to discern situations and judge correctly. They can readily see the difference between what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong.
In scripture, however, wisdom tends to be more of a moral quality than an intellectual quality. We also know from earlier in this book that wisdom is a gift from God, given generously to those who ask of it. James seems to go deeper into true wisdom here, explains that it comes with understanding, humility, and gentleness - something we don’t see in wisdom of the world.
James tells us that wisdom is demonstrated by our actions, specifically calling out our meekness. Meek, by definition, is humble, patient and gentle - not characteristics generally associated with people who are considered wise. It is by our gentle behavior they are considered wise.
There are times I struggle to be gentle when I know I’m right and I want the people in my life to listen to my wisdom. My family and my co-workers would probably tell you I can passionately argue my point of view, especially when I think I believe they should abide by my wisdom. While I have grown tremendously in this area over the past couple of decades because of His Spirit that lives in me, I know I’m a work in progress so He continues to chasten me. My desire is to be full of gentle wisdom, so I continue to seek Him and He continues to humble me and mold me.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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