“Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.” -James 3:17 MSG. It took me several reads in many translations for this day’s devotion because the Word of God made me look at myself. It made me think of Proverbs 27:7- A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. This was one of those hard things to hear but because of my hunger and thirst after righteousness it is satisfying my soul. I took the time to examine myself to determine what type of wisdom I seek and exude. According to the Word I may not always exhibit true wisdom:
James 3:13–18 (Amplified Bible)
Wisdom from Above
13 Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals].
There is true wisdom that exhibits deeds robed in gentleness and humility and it comes from above. There is superficial wisdom that is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic that exhibits deeds robed in jealousy, selfish ambitions, disorder, every evil thing and morally degrading practices. My goodness the Word is sharp, but if I allow the Great Physician to diagnosis me and perform surgery upon my heart, I will heal and be made whole. His Word doesn’t come to condemn and if condemnation is what’s being felt, that’s not God. He came to give life and in that giving there are times I must be convicted when I’ve fallen short in my practice of Christian conduct. I struggle with being gentle…ask my immediate family and some close friends. A great deal of this struggle comes from learned behavior and there has to be a deliberate and purposeful observance of my behavior so that I don’t grieve His Holy Spirit. I’m not perfect and I know I will miss the “mark” at times as I am growing to know the Lord at a greater level, but when I know better I should be doing better.
This study in James is blessing my soul ( my mind, my will and these emotions) in a manner I had not expected, but I’m so grateful for the leading of the Holy Spirit to make this 40 day commitment with God. I’m being made whole, I’m being held accountable by the Word, I’m being stretched and my territory is being enlarged daily. I am being humbled in my understanding of His will for my life and it’s impacting more than just me. If any man lacks wisdom the word of God tells us to ask for it from our Father who is above and He will generously give it to us. I’m asking for His wisdom today because I know His wisdom is pure, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of compassion and good fruits, impartial, and sincere.
This day’s reading caused a true repentance for some ways of mine that did not at all line up with His word. Thank You Lord for conviction and restoration. I am whole!