The Best Kind of Wisdom

If you’re reading this anytime after the middle of February in the year 2020, then you’re living through, or survived the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.

Never has life as we’ve known it come to such a screeching halt as it has in the early days of spring, and never has the “wisdom” of so many voices contributed to that halt.

But let’s LOOK at what James says about the BEST kind of wisdom:

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3: 13-18

Using the app dictionary, we tap on words to contrast the two kinds of wisdom James describes:

Demonic Wisdom

  • Not from above, but is earthly (worldly) and natural (sensual, not spiritual) (v. 15)
  • Based in bitter jealousy and selfish ambition (in this verse context it means canvassing for public office, scheming and promoting political fractions) (v. 14 and 16)
  • Resorts in disorder (unstable, commotion, tumult, exile) and every evil thing (v. 16)

Wisdom from Above

  • Pure (modest, chaste and clean)
  • Peaceable 
  • Gentle (appropriate, proper, yielding, unassertive)
  • Reasonable (easily persuaded, compliant)
  • Full of mercy (compassion) and good fruits
  • Unwavering (impartial)
  • Without hypocrisy (genuine, real, true, sincere) (All from v. 17)

When crisis invades our lives, but really, at ANY time in our lives, we need the BEST kind of wisdom, the kind that’s from above. We need people leading us who display that kind of wisdom as well.

And what is the result of wisdom from above?

“And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (v. 18)

It appears that James is using a farming illustration here. When someone plants wisdom from above, righteousness blooms. Peace is then sown from that righteousness.

What a glorious promise! For in the midst of a crisis – whether personal, national, or worldwide, we all need peace to make it through. 

The BEST kind of wisdom, the wisdom we need from above, will produce peace – the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7).

Lord, help us find the wisdom that is from above, from YOU! We know we need but ask and you will give it. We can also find it in your Word where you can speak to us every day. Thank you that you provide righteousness and peace through the wisdom that you give us. In Jesus Name, AMEN