James 3 (NIV)
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
14 But if you harbour 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, of the devil.
Who is Wise…?
The world pretty well accepts people to be wise if they have credentials, degrees or certificates, if they talk a good talk, if they tickle your ears with what you want to hear. But – is that wisdom? This whole thing of trying to be more than we are is just wrong! It’s what much of the world is practicing and is pretty well accepted in most circles.
In this scripture, James is saying that it is not the right way. Notice at the end of verse 15 he says that it is “of the devil!”
Read these verses again in the translation called the message:
James 3 (The Message)
13 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.
14 Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom.
15 It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving.
16 Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
17 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.
Gods way to look good:
- Be good!
- Live well / live correctly / by His word
- Be humble (a real challenge today!)
- Be careful of that thing called mean-spiritedness
- Beware of ambition
- Do all you can to understand and live a Holy life
- Love one another (take on the character of your Heavenly Father – God is Love)
- Be a blessing to those around you.
When a conversation is going on that is mean-spirited of critical of others — speak into the situation if you can.
Otherwise, just leave. Do not be a part of conversations that are running others down or judging others actions. You become guilty by just being a part of the conversation for you give your agreement by saying nothing…
Live for Him / Love all of His children