In an age of instant information and Google, of Facebook links and media rich with bias, it can be hard to discern what is truly wise in this world. I find more and more that the people of God can be swayed by the smallest idea of what is right and wise. I don’t know about you, but my desire is to be imparted with true wisdom.
The Bible could not be more clear about the idea of wisdom, from Moses seeking wise counsel from his father in law andSolomon asking for wisdom to lead God’s people, to the entire book of Proverbs and James 3.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
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. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
The idea here is pretty simple: Earthly wisdom is unspiritual and demonic. Envy and selfish ambition are the opposite of wisdom. Not only envy and selfish ambition damaging to yourself, but it is damaging to the church. For in envy and selfish ambition you find “disorder and every evil practice”
The word for disorder here is the greek word “akatastasia” which means a chaotic frenzy or fighting in the church, it means unstable, restless.
Therefore if we want to avoid the sensual, demonic wisdom that comes from the earth, we must focus on the spiritual, righteous wisdom that “comes from above”, that is freely given to us by the Father himself.
James lays it out for us really well.
Wisdom from above is first of all pure. Purity is first on this list for a reason. Purity, blamelessness. Earthly wisdom is sensual, wisdom from above is pure.
It is then peace-loving. Earthly wisdom is full of strife and disorder. Wisdom from above seeks for peace.
It is then considerate. Godly wisdom is not too rigid or demanding.
It is then submissive. It is not obstinate, stubborn, but capable of persuasion.
It is then full of mercy. Earthly wisdom is unforgiving and unkind. Godly wisdom is merciful and selfless.
It is full of good fruits. Earthly wisdom is full of “evil works”. Wisdom from above yields good fruits.
It is impartial. It does not show favoritism.
It is sincere. Wisdom from above is without hypocrisy.
True wisdom produces peace.
True wisdom is genuine with our motives, it seeks for peace with everyone, regardless of person, it is not stubborn or too rigid to consider others’ opinions. And it bears good fruit. What you sow in peace through wisdom from above will be reaped in righteousness.