Strive to be Wise

Blog Topic: 

James 3:13-4:3,7-8a

We begun the journey in James with the thought that our faith can be strengthened if we listen, if we get involved and if we watch our mouths. Today we continue our journey down the road of insight to answer the question what does it mean to be wise? Why do we need to be wise?

Because wisdom is a sign of the active presence of the Holy Spirit guiding our actions and our decisions.

At the heart of any persons who seeks to observe and live the teachings of Christ is the desire to do or say the right things at the right time, so that our lives and words bring glory to God.

Throughout James’ writings he is seeking to teach and to build practical faith. To James wisdom is a practical gift and if you want to know if someone is wise or not look at their works, the outcome/consequences of his or her actions.

James is encouraging us to revisit in Chapter 3, first how we manage our tongues and get a grip on it because managing the tongue is key to being wise.

Now he goes on to say – “strive to be wise”. He lifts up three areas that warrant more effort.

  1. Strive to be wise in how we deal with conflict and particularly conflict that arises out of envy and self ambition. Conflict that arises because someone wants their own way or someone wants what does not belong to them and are prepared to risk violence to get it.

So how does one remain wise in conflicts?

James in verse 17 says those who are exercising wisdom are:

  1. Pure- in this context means free of motives
  2. Peaceable – Paul says as much as is possible live at peace with all men. 1 Peter 3:11 says seek peace and pursue it
  3. Gentle – (meekness)- spoken of in the beatitudes and a fruit of the spirit. It does not mean weak and mild but rather strength under control
  4. Willing to yield – willing to defer to others as long as a core belief is not at stake
  5. Full of mercy & good fruits- Being merciful is not only having compassion for the person who is suffering apart from what he did but also showing compassion to one who is suffering because of his own fault that means helping them even if it is their fault
  6. Without a trace of partiality/hypocrisy – not taking side but instead holding firmly to the truth in love. Without a trace of hypocrisy speaks to our sincerity. Why should we be sincere? Because it takes a whole lot more out of us to pretend.

As we seek to be wise which of the seven qualities do you need to work  on?

James would not leave us without giving us some encouragement as we seek to be wise, he says: Submit yourselves to God, draw near to God and God will draw near to you. If we live in a relationship of nearness and trust in God, God will continue to supply us with wisdom, which will then result in us having right relationships, peaceful relationships both with those around us and God.

Amen