Vs 13 Who is wise and understanding among you?
By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
Vs 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Vs 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Vs 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
How can I tell if someone is wise or foolish?
James says to look around them … what can you see?
James wants the wise and understanding person to put it on display?
“good conduct” … “show his works”
What is the result of their actions?
“Disorder” or “Purity”?
“Vile practices” or “Mercy and good fruit”?
James is taking me back to the Garden here …
Adam and Eve’s “selfish ambition” led to eating from the forbidden tree of Knowledge.
The order of creation became disorder …
The purity of their nakedness became wide-eyed shame.
Cain’s murderous “jealousy” led to an utter lack of “peace, gentleness, mercy, and openness to reason”.
Mere Knowledge without the wisdom of the fear of God will reap a harvest of chaos, not righteousness.
Am I more interested in being a theologian or a disciple of Jesus?
Perhaps that’s too broad a question.
My point is … What am I more interested in?
Accumulation of knowledge about God?
Or application of wisdom from God?
What do I want more: “Information” or “Transformation”?
Just taking in more information will give me knowledge … but I’ll just get “jealous” and “selfish”.
Paul says it will “puff me up”.
Paul also says I can be “transformed” … by the renewing of my mind.
This is an act of the Spirit’s power, not my will power.
Then I can discern God’s perfect will.
And then, when I live this out … or as James says “by his good conduct show his works” …
the fruit of the Spirit is the result … “good fruit” … Peace!
Shalom! … The intended purpose and result of Creation itself!
So, when my life seems chaotic … when things seems “disordered” around me …
I must look in the mirror … in my own heart and mind …
Am I acting in wisdom from above …. or jealousy and selfish ambition?
Am I allowing The Word to transform me?
Or do I want more words to inform me?
Do I want The Word more, or more words? … Wisdom or knowledge?
James tells me that the wise person is not the one who knows the word, but the one who applies it.
Thank you, God, for Your Word
Thank You that the Word become Flesh
Thank You, Jesus, for applying the Word perfectly for me
Help me, Holy Spirit, to be transformed by it and to live it
In Jesus name,