Remain strong and faithful! We are making our way through James 3 and only have 2 more days this week. I know it is hard to commit to doing this everyday but you can do it and you will be blessed for it!
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.
The Greek word for “wise” in this verse is “sophos”. The meaning of “sophos” in this verse means “in respect to divine things, wise, enlightened, as joined together with purity of heart and life.” This word for wise means more than the definition from Merriam-Webster of “marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment” because it is not referring to worldly wisdom. “First of all, the biblical concept of wisdom is God-centered rather than man-centered. It denotes a fear of God and an understanding of His ways. Sophos indicates the ability to apply skillfully what one knows (especially religious truths).”
Do you see how being “wise” should be evident by the way we live our lives? If we have this type of wisdom, it will be evident because we will be walking out biblical truths in our lives. Are you wise and understanding? Are there areas in your life where you wisdom shines brightly and others where it does not?
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.
The “wisdom” James is talking about in verse 15 is in contrast to the “wise” discussed in verse 13. This second type of “wisdom” is worldly rather than godly; it is man-centered rather than God-centered. “Such ‘wisdom’ evaluates everything by worldly standards and makes personal gain life’s highest goal.”1 When envy and selfish ambition are our goals, we can be assured that we are using worldly wisdom versus godly wisdom.
When making decisions, which type of wisdom do you use? Have you made decisions recently that were made out of envy, jealousy or selfish ambition? What were the results of those decisions? What decisions are you facing now? Approach those decision from a godly perspective and how God would have you walk out your faith rather than what would get you ahead. Make decisions that will bring glory to God’s name rather than your name.
All Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com
Definition of “wise” from http://www.merriam-webster.com
Definition of sophos from “The Key Word Bible Study”, AMG Publishers
- 1 quotes from “The Expostior’s Bible Commentary”, Vol. 12, Zondervan