Wisdom: who is wise? James 3:13-18
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his 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, of the devil.
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 raise a harvest of righteousness.
There are varying degrees of intelligence and wisdom. There are those who are highly intelligent and not very wise. There are those who are very wise but not very educated.
Wisdom has little to do with education and education has little to do with intelligence.
We need genuine spiritual wisdom. Part will come through education, through experience, through attitude. We can become wise in the ways of the Lord.
ONE: WHAT WISDOM IS. (VS 17)
Wisdom is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
True wisdom comes from God, there is no other source. There are a lot of people who pass for wise but they are not believers. If they are not connected to God they are not truly wise.
Wisdom is also peace-loving and considerate. Some of the most irritating unfair, intolerant people in the world are also considered by many to be wise.
The litmus test for wisdom according to the Word of God is that they are peace-loving and considerate.
Those who are truly wise are submissive and full of good fruit.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.
Wisdom is also impartial and sincere. The problem with great intelligence is that it is often unable to see beyond its own viewpoint. True wisdom which comes from God is the only wisdom that is truly objective and sincere.
To be truly wise you do not need to be overly intelligent, nor highly educated.
If you want to be truly wise you submit yourself to the Lord.
TWO: WHAT WISDOM IS NOT (VS 14-16)
Envious, selfish, earthly or unspiritual.
True wisdom is not envious or self-centred.
A person of true wisdom knows the value of other people.
True wisdom has a heavenly and a spiritual ingredient.
Those who have multiple degrees and years of experience but deny the existence of a creator and controller are earthly and unspiritual. They are the exact opposite of wise.
Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.
Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
THREE: WHAT WISDOM CAUSES: A GOOD LIFE, HUMBLE DEEDS, PEACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The more different cultures try to suppress the very idea of God the more God shows himself faithful.
Government cannot produce anything except problems. Government cannot provide a good life.
Earthly wisdom likewise cannot produce these things.
True wisdom is spiritual. True wisdom comes from God.
Godliness produces Godliness. Wisdom produces wisdom.
So who is wise? The person who humbles him or herself before the Lord and serves him with gladness.
Believers: you are on the path with the Lord. Seek him and his truth more and more.
Not yet believers: no matter where you look or what you try you will always find that true wisdom, true peace, true fulfillment in life will not come until you turn to God.