The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of August 10
The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17-18)
When we think of the typical attributes of wisdom, we might consider words like knowledgeable, thoughtful, experienced, discerning and, of course, wise. But James’ definition goes so much further, introducing descriptors we might not have considered before: gentleness, peace-loving, merciful, sincere, fair, yielding to others and a doer to good deeds.
The difference between James’ definition of wisdom and ours is that James describes “wisdom from above” – a pure, God-centered and Kingdom-centered wisdom. A person who contains a wisdom that comes from God is not concerned with self-advancement or even self-preservation. The wisdom that comes from God is humble, unassuming and based entirely on love for others. It is an outward-facing rather than an inward-facing wisdom.
The most beautiful part about these verses is the fact that God’s wisdom – the wisdom from above – isn’t given to a select few special ones, but rather, is offered freely to each and every one of us. Therefore, we have a choice. We can choose the imprisonment that comes with a false wisdom created by our own flawed and fallible selves, or we can choose the freedom of living a life of generosity, mercy, sincerity, peace and surrender – a life guided by true wisdom given by God.
Lord, so often I am influenced by the false wisdom of the world, which leads me toward selfishness and greed. Breathe a renewed understanding of Your wisdom into me today, Lord, so that I may offer peace, gentleness, grace, mercy, fairness and sincerity to others. Amen.