Yesterday we talked about the necessity of searching for wisdom and understanding; but we must be certain we are looking in the right place. “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.” (James 3:13) This is a picture of a humble Christ follower who obeys the Lord’s Word.
The next couple of verses speaks of worldly wisdom that is demonic. “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.” (James 3:14-16)
That behavior is in direct conflict with God’s command that we are to love one another. This verse shows us a taste of what true love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Cor. 13:4) Boastful, arrogant, enviousness and selfishness is all about “what’s in it for me?”–the wisdom that comes from the enemy, and leads to your destruction. “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matt. 16:26)
We must look ONLY to the Lord for wisdom. We must seek to know Him and to fear only Him: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10)
He has told us if we repent from worldly wisdom and seek Him, He will give us His wisdom. But we can’t be double-minded. “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.” (James 3:13-18)
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