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Wisdom from Above

Daily Reading:  James 3-4

 

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)

 

Devotional Thought: James wrote of two kinds of wisdom: that which "comes down from above" and that which is "earthly, unspiritual, demonic" (James 3.15).  He described the heavenly brand of wisdom as...

  • Pure.  Wisdom which permits me to be unholy and double-minded is not God’s wisdom.  True wisdom results in a sense of conviction when it finds itself engaged in immoral deeds, words, or thoughts.

  • Peaceable. Wisdom promotes peace and unity.  Earthly wisdom is peeved, partisan, prejudiced, and proud.

  • Gentle. Instead of pushing its own way, true wisdom asks, “What can I do for my fellow traveler in this situation?” A good measure of whether or not I am gentle is how I react when I have to wait!

  • Reasonable.  "Inclined to the other."  That goes against our ingrained culture, doesn’t it?  When I agree with you, I can be reasonable.  True wisdom is reasonable even when we disagree.

  • Merciful. Mercy is power over someone transformed to power under them.  Power over another rules them to be what we want them to be.  Power under another raises them to become what they were created to be.

  • Fruitful. What fruit should wisdom produce?  Start with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  If I am wise, those fruits are harvested from my life daily.

  • Impartial. Worldly wisdom grants favors based on what can be done in return.  Heavenly wisdom loves all regardless of what they can do for me. 

  • Sincere. Motive matters.  If we seek wisdom simply to gain the approval of those around us it is earthly wisdom. True wisdom does the right thing because it is the right thing.

 

Are you growing in wisdom?  Wisdom from above seeks continually to improve.

 

Prayer: Lord, there are many new and untried things that pass as wisdom today.  In the midst of changing cultural wisdom, help me to hold on to the eternal wisdom that is rooted in your character and revealed in your word.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 49:16-20


16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases;

17 for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.

18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed— and people praise you when you prosper—

19 they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.


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