Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James 3:13-18 Real Wisdom

Today we come to the section in James about true wisdom. Many times in life we are confused about what wisdom really is. James is going to confront some of our false concepts of wisdom today as we study through this section.

(v13) WALKING WISDOM: Here we see two things, that wisdom walks and that wisdom is gentle. Sometimes we think that the wise man is the one who is loud and can talk big. Before moving on further let's keep in mind that James has just finished talking about teachers and our need to control the tongue. Here he is most likely referring to the teachers as well, those that might have thought that to be loud was to be wise. Knowing this, we see here that wisdom walks not just talks. James says "Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." Our wisdom can be displayed in the silence or in our behavior. The definition of the word behavior in Greek is, way of life, behavior, or conduct. This shows us that wisdom is not just theory or just words, wisdom is very practical. Wisdom is to be displayed in every action. Not only does wisdom walk but wisdom is gentle. This word gentle is the word for mild disposition or meekness. It doesn't take a big man to be strong in his opinion or speak big words, it takes a big man to learn to be quite and gentle. After reading through this passage several times I kept getting the image in my head of two men in an argument. One man very strong in his opinion, shouting at the other and the other very slow to anger and very in control of his behavior. The man who is slow to anger is the one who displays the practical wisdom.

(v14) WISDOM ISN'T...: Wisdom is not bitter jealousy. In other words it's not harsh excitement of mind, fervor of spirit, defending anything, zeal on behalf of, envious or contentious rivalry. I think the best way to sum up this word is that wisdom is not reactive it is proactive. Wisdom does not act out defense or fervor of spirit but wisdom acts out of thought, wisdom is proactive. Just like the men in the argument, wisdom is the not the one who reacts from anger but the one who is proactive, thinking about what he says before he says it. The second thing that wisdom is not is selfishly ambitious. This is the desire to put oneself forward or a self-seeking pursuit. Wisdom does not wish to put itself first. Wisdom is giving, seeking for the good of others first. This type of wisdom is considered earthly, natural, demonic, and wherever this so-called wisdom exists there is "disorder and every evil thing."

1.)PURE (Hagnos) sacred, pure from carnality or fault
2.)PEACEABLE (Eirenikos)peaceable, pacific, loving peace
3.)GENTLE (Epieikes) suitable, fair, mild
4.)REASONABLE (Eupeithes) easily obeying, compliant
5.)FULL OF MERCY (Eleos) mercy, kindness or goodwill towards the miserable and afflicted, exercise of the virtue of mercy
AND GOOD FRUITS (Agathos) good, pleasant, excellent
6.)UNWAVERING (Adiekritos) without uncertainty
7.)WITHOUT HYPOCRISY (Anupokrites) unfeigned, undisguised, sincere

CONCLUSION: Today we have seen what true wisdom really is. Many can come with big words and a heavy disposition but the man who practices these words is the one who possesses true wisdom. "Lord, thank you for Your Holy Word, Father help us today to grasp the concept of true wisdom and apply it to our lives. Lord, Your Word promises an abundant life to those who live it. Help us to apply what we've learned today. Love Ya Father!"