17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then
peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality and without hypocrisy. 18Now the fruit of righteousness
is sown in peace by those who make peace.
There are two
kinds of wisdom: worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom. Multiple places in Scripture,
it talks about how we can gain wisdom from God and how He wants to grant it to
James 3:13-18 lays
out the two kinds of wisdom about as simply and straight-forward as possible.
In verses 13-16 we see what characterizes worldly wisdom. Verse 15, speaking of
worldly wisdom, says, “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly,
How can we know
that we have wisdom from God? What portrays “wisdom from above?” The last two
verses in James chapter three describe this beautifully.
We see that the wisdom that is from
above is first…
Merriam-Webster dictionary has many definitions for the word “pure.” One
of the descriptions says that it is “unmixed with any other matter.” Gold
is a great example of something that is extremely valuable when it is 100%
pure. In order to become pure, it must first be refined in the fire
through a lengthy process so all of the impurities can be removed. As
Christians, we must also allow God to put us through the “fire,” so He can
refine us and make us into pure vessels to be used by Him.
An explanation of “peaceableness” found in the
Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible is, “promoting the cessation of
conflict.” We should always be people who strive to bring peace to every
situation that we find ourselves in. This includes things such as being
instrumental in directing conversations in a Godly direction and not being
selfish in our actions.
Timothy says, “And a
servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach,
patient…” Gentleness is something that is harder for some people to
cultivate and express than others. It is something that is very important
for us to practice, especially when dealing with non-believers. It would
be a terrible thing to “turn someone off” to the things of the Lord,
simply because a Christian was being harsh in relating to that person.
Willing to yield.
We live in a society in which people are becoming more and more
unyielding. So many people are only concerned with what makes them happy
or what will allow them to accomplish what they deem as “important.” As
simple as it seems, a great way for us to shine our lights as Christians,
is to yield to others when it is appropriate and on a regular basis.
Full of mercy
and good fruits. Christ is the
ultimate example we have to follow in this area. His whole life here on
earth, was devoted to doing good things for other people and teaching them
His Father’s word. His earthly life ended with Him demonstrating perfect
mercy in dying on the cross. Would you do something like that?
How often do we demonstrate greater concern and love for someone who makes
us feel good, as opposed to someone who might be a bit difficult to be
around? Jesus obviously was not too worried about what made Him feel or
look good when He did things such as eating with tax collectors. We should
strive to look at each person we encounter through the “eyes” of God.
And without hypocrisy.
Sincerity is something that we should all be concerned with implementing
in our lives. I cannot think of something that the world thinks less of,
than a hypocritical church-going Christian. Numerous times, I have heard
someone speak negatively of the Christian church, because they say that it
is full of hypocrites.
This passage is
yet another one that can be used as a guide with which I can put my life up
next to, and ask some questions. These verses offer quite an extensive list of
things that are no small task to master. In fact, I know that I will never be
at all perfect in any of these things. This is what keeps us dependant upon God
for daily strength.