13 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. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 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.18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
In a church like ours, made up of different people from different backgrounds the potential for envy, selfishness, boasting, disorder, and every evil practice is real. Real because we live in this broken sinful world when these things are not foreign.
Thankfully it is not a surprise to God.
Not only is not just a surprise to God, but He has given us His wisdom (the Scriptures) to address this worldly behaviour, this earthly wisdom – “such wisdom does not come from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil” (James 3:15).
God addresses this earthly wisdom through James by saying that in order to be peace-loving and considerate and submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere, we need His wisdom, the wisdom from heaven which we evidently don’t have.
And what do we do when we don’t have anything? Well, we ask. Have a look at chapter 1 and see the result of our asking: “God gives generously to all” (James 1:5).
What an amazing word!
Dear brothers and sisters, we have access to two kinds of wisdom: our own, earthly, distorted wisdom – and God’s wisdom. Put another way, there are two ways to live: the Frank Sinatra way – my way and our God’s way
Today, as we reflect on James 3 let us pray that the Lord by His Spirit will convict us to seek His wisdom. And as we pray that for ourselves, let us pray it also for all our brothers and sisters in Christ – known to us and not known to us.