Message Library

Genuine Wisdom

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Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

James 3:13

From James 3:3-18, we are told about two kinds of wisdom, earthly wisdom and wisdom from Heaven. How does our worldly wisdom compare to genuine wisdom given to us from God?

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3:14) This verse shows wisdom driven by bitter envy causing selfish ambition. This example reveals self-centered behavior, which is identified as earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. It is not wrong to have ambition but it’s our attitude on achieving our ambition. We may have bitter envy, or we may have Godly thanks. We can be boastful, or we can be humble.

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16) James is saying that envy and selfish ambition leads people to be self-centered — putting themselves first. Disorder can come from being competitive with others in order to obtain what they desire, often with no concern for others and possibly creating chaos. Selfishness is pride and God opposes the proud. God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. (James 4:6)

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17) Godly wisdom is centered on God and others and comes from a heart filled with his love. This person has a pure heart and lives with peace that he or she brings to others. A person revealing Godly wisdom is secure, humble, considerate, merciful, impartial, and sincere. They are filled with the fruits of the Spirit and they have a heart that cares about others.

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:18) The Lord is pleased when we live with Godly wisdom and he fills us with his blessings. We become more Christ-like making our life more fulfilling as we live for Christ.

Today exhibit Godly wisdom and overcome any tendency for envy and selfish ambition. Be secure and humble as you reflect Christ to others.

Prayer: Lord, guide me in the Spirit to show Godly wisdom with a heart that cares about others. Help me to always do everything for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen