i have been in an inward struggle in my conversations with people for the past few weeks. at times, i have been frustrated, bitter, angry, confused, concerned and even offended. i have tried to battle against all those ungodly emotions, but i haven’t got far. i am constantly remembering the scripture in james 1:20 where it says “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness God requires”. but how does this apply when you feel your opinion is “from God” or is divine insight? i am realizing that many times, my anger is just frustrated pride (cause i think i now what’s right or i think i know what needs to be done).
recently another scripture in james has been resounding in my head:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (james 3:13-18)
i long for divine wisdom (the “wisdom that comes from above”). james lists eight things that divine wisdom is:
james starts off saying that divine wisdom doesn’t have secret motives. it is “FIRST pure” and innocent. many times i find that my “wisdom” is rooted in bitterness or “selfish ambition” (from the verse before) instead of being caring and compassionate.
i am so glad that james puts “peaceable” near the top to the list! he combines “pure” with “peaceable” (“but the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, THEN peaceable…”). i realized that no matter how God-inspired my thoughts or opinions are, if they do not bring or keep the peace, then they are not totally pure and therefore it’s not true “divine wisdom”
this is such a tendency in an conversation to make little “stabs” against one another. if someone disagrees with you it’s easy to start making slightly rude remarks or start talking harshly. but divine wisdom always is “as wise as a serpent BUT as harmless as a dove”. it remains like Jesus…gentle as a lamb.
open to reason
even when God gives us divine wisdom concerning a situation, it does not mean the answer will solve the entirety of the situation. just because God says to be generous with your finances, it does not mean you should give away all your money. there are parts of the solution God gives to many people for a collective purpose (that is why there is “wisdom in a multitude of counselors”). we must remember that our “insight” is not the end all. we must be open to reason and allow others to bring their divine solutions into the conversation to join ours.
full of mercy
this is where humility is proven. when people resist you or are temporary blinded to the truth, divine wisdom’s response is mercy. it does not lash out. neither does it look at those temporarily blinded any different from those who understand. divine wisdom remembers that without divine revelation, we are all blinded and that there will be times that we will unknowingly be blinded by error until God opens our eyes. the merciful will receive mercy (matthew 5:7).
full of good fruits
i love this point. james states that divine wisdom bears good fruit. that is in all matter of time, both past, present and future. divine wisdom can be PROVEN as wisdom from glancing at history and one’s present life/example. it can be TRUSTED (because of the past and present) as wisdom in the future.
in chapter two, james talks about the evil of showing partiality. this is an important, but overlooked point many times. divine wisdom is impartial. if it applies to the situation or another person, it can be applied to any like situation and most importantly IT APPLIES TO YOU. many times we give others “divine wisdom” with taking it for ourselves. it must strike our hearts as well.
i have to admit that this is a hard one for me. i can be very sarcastic and cynical, but james says that divine wisdom is sincere. it’s heartfelt. it’s true to the nature of God. we must remember that God does not take sharing revelation lightly or as a joke. we are told in scripture that we will be held accountable for all we know and for all that has been told to us. divine wisdom realizes that there is a cost to hearing and sharing this wisdom with others (to both parties…the hearer and the speaker) and does not take it lightly.
i am setting my heart in the place of prayer for this “wisdom that comes from above”. i want these things birthed in me, starting with purity and peacefulness. i pray that God gives you (as well as myself) a “spirit (something deeper than carnal mind) of wisdom and revelation” (ephesians 1:17) that we can have, understand and speak forth the wisdom that truly “comes from above”.
what attribute of divine wisdom do you struggle with most? are the attributes of divine wisdom a progression, or are they individual traits that can be obtained separately? what areas do you need divine wisdom in? what keeps us from partaking in divine wisdom?