13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (ESV)
What kind of wisdom are you using? Does your wisdom come from God or from this world? Is there a way for you to be able to tell which kind of wisdom you are using? You could use today’s reading to help you find out. In this section, James defines two kinds of wisdom to help us avoid using the world’s wisdom. First, he demonstrates the different motives between worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom. The world’s wisdom is motivated by envy and selfish ambition. God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive…(vs17). Second, these two kinds of wisdom also have different sources. Worldly wisdom’s source is the depraved human mind, the world, and sometimes Satan himself. God’s wisdom comes from God and His Word. He enables us to make wise choices and decisions. Third, James tells us that these two kinds of wisdom have different results. The world’s wisdom results in disorder and every evil thing. God’s wisdom results in a harvest of righteousness. If you want to know what wisdom you are living by, just examine your motives, your source and the results you are getting. It will be obvious if you are honest.
How can you tell what your motives are when you make decisions?
How do you decide what your source of wisdome really is?
What do the results of your decisions tell you about the type of wisdom you use?
In light of this passage, what personal commitment can you make?