Today's text shows there are two kinds of wisdom. Maybe you have never thought there are two kinds of wisdom, but today in James 3, we see the distinction. In summary, he compares and contrasts heavenly wisdom with earthly wisdom. He concludes they are really quite different in their origin, their nature, and their fruits. So let's do some comparing.
First, how can we know if wisdom is from earth or heaven? How do we distinguish the two? Heavenly wisdom is shown by a good life, as characterized by humility. In contrast, earthly wisdom is envious and rooted in selfish ambition. And the fruits of this self driven wisdom is every kind of disorder and evil practice. It even paves the way for even demonic activity.
On the contrary, heavenly wisdom produces the fruit of purity, peace, kindness and consideration. It is merciful, sincere, and at the heart of real peacemaking. There might be many who say their teaching is the key to a prosperous life. But what is the acid test for true wisdom? True wisdom is seeing things from God's perspective, gaining understanding and then acting in obedience. And so where do we get this kind of wisdom? In James 1:5 it says, "If anyone lacks wisdom, they should ask God who gives it all without partiality." Do you understand what kind of promise this is? God wants us to be wise. His wisdom is not secret, as is the case in most all of the cults dating back to the Gnostic heresies of the first century. If we seek God's wisdom sincerely we will always find it.
God shows us what true wisdom looks like as well when He sent Jesus down from heaven. Jesus was the wisest man who ever lived. If we want to know how God thinks, acts and loves, we only need to look to Jesus.
Where do you lack wisdom today? Where are you confused and lack direction? Sometimes the last place we go to is God and His Word, who is Jesus? God doesn't hide anything from those he loves. Those who seek will find. As we seek Jesus and His way of life, we will be led to a life of abundance and joy. The life we've always wanted. Do you want this life? It is there for the asking.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 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. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.