Jms. 3:14-16 “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, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
When we have been left to get along with little while others enjoy much wealth and success, it’s almost impossible not to become envious. We have to be ambitious and promote ourselves! This ‘wisdom’ of ambition and self-promotion is not of God; it is of our culture, earthly. It leads down a path of chaos inside one’s spirit and disorder in the life. The next verse offers hope.
Jms. 3:17 “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.”
God’s wisdom, which he makes available to us, is:
Pure. It is not contaminated with selfish motives. It is motivated to act in ways that bring glory to God.
Peace-loving. There is no quarrelsomeness about it, no self-promotion; it seeks to promote restoration and peace between human and human and between human and God.
Considerate. It thinks of others before itself, considers their needs, their input, insights, feelings.
Submissive. It is willing to obey God and defer to other people as appropriate, obeying laws, following directives from those in leadership positions.
Full of mercy and good fruit. It is aware of the mercy needed by its own soul and received from so abundantly from God, appreciates it, and is therefore willing to extend abundant mercy to others.
Impartial and sincere. It seeks to be fair and free from fraud. Because the above is true there is no need for deception.
Wow! That is certainly the wisdom I want within myself – and I want it in the people around me!!