Journal Entry ~ 07/17/18

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. - James 3:17

His wisdom is full of mercy. Mercy is not giving someone what they deserve. God showers us with mercy when He does not give us what we deserve, and He calls us to treat the people in our lives the same way. Though they may hurt us, we are to withhold punishment and show them mercy. Earthly wisdom encourages retaliation and revenge because it is self-serving and self-focused. The wisdom from above would never give what’s due, but chooses to give what they don’t deserve as God gives to us. This can be incredibly challenging, especially when the wrong against us is deep and wide. The only way past that pain is to look to the mercy He has shown us. We are so dead in our trespasses and sins we are only vaguely aware of our guilt before God—guilt that requires His mercy. We try to avoid our guilt by looking at others as worse sinners than we are. But, comparing ourselves to anything or anyone other than God and His standards produces a false result. When it comes to measuring up to God’s expectations, the Bible is very clear: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The wisdom that is from above is also full of good fruits. The fruit is the results of the wisdom - the outcome of a decision or the effect of advice. If the conclusion is good, the wisdom is from God. The fruit of earthly wisdom is evil. When you are considering wisdom, and if it is from God, think on the outcome. If it will bring blessings to the world, then you can know it’s from Him. 

God’s wisdom is impartial. It does not discriminate among believers and is available to all who seek it. Remember, earlier in James, we are told: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. - James 1:5. He gives wisdom to all. His wisdom is the same for everyone - it’s consistent. He would never give one direction to one person and a different direction to another person. One of the greatest gifts He has given me in recent years is the understanding that where two praying people are in agreement, His wisdom is present. My husband and I have experienced the peace that comes when we have both prayed over a difficult decision and God brings us into agreement, despite us starting in very different places. He has moved mountains in my heart to align me with my husband. There is no doubt this wisdom comes only from Him. 

Finally, the wisdom that is from above is sincere. It is unwavering and without hypocrisy. God will never ask you to do something inconsistent with His Word. I learned this truth many years ago as a young mom who struggled under the pressure of a busy schedule. I didn’t have time to get into His Word regularly and on my own, but I justified the absence of quiet time in my life because God gave me such a full schedule. He wanted me to be a wife and mother that raised my children well. I was busy serving in the church and raising kids who knew Him. I reasoned that I led a faithful life. Our days were full of school and activities, we had family devotions every night after having dinner together, and we had plenty of opportunities to serve together and work for Christ as a family. I thought I was full of wisdom about how to live the Christian life. The problem was my schedule didn’t leave any time for Him on my own. Then one day, someone pointed out to me that God would never create a schedule that didn’t allow time for Him every single day. If I didn’t have time for Him, then I was on my plan, not His. His plan includes quiet time reading His Word and praying with Him every day. Anything other than that is inconsistent with the truth found in His Word. We can so easily deceive ourselves with justification and reason. We need to stay alert to the deceptions of the enemy. 

The wisdom that is from Him shows mercy to others and ends in good results. It does not discriminate and it’s consistent. It is unwavering and without hypocrisy. Be sure the wisdom that leaves your lips runs past this list before you put it into action. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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