“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…Don’t brag and deny the truth…But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit” James 3:13-17
I cannot read this beautiful passage without my grandmother’s face coming to mind. As far as I am concerned she embodied the words of these verses. Anyone who knew her would describe her as humble…pure in heart…sought after peace…gentle…submissive…unending mercy for others and a life jammed pack of good fruit. You didn’t even have to shake that tree for the fruit to fall. If this is the definition of wisdom and understanding then she gets an A+! The irony of that statement is that she would probably have graded herself a C because of her humility.
Had my grandmother had a Facebook page her status would have bragged on Christ and not her own life. She would have tweeted about the lavish love that God provided for you and for me. Her hash tags would have been unending in the blessings she described. In the worlds eyes not many would have wanted to follow her on social media but in my eyes her words led right to Christ. I can’t tell you how many status updates, tweets, and hash tags I read that paint a picture of freedom where I know there is oppression and joy where despair resides. ‘People brag and deny the truth.’ (James 3:14) We are all guilty of this to some degree but we can have freedom when we become a little less enamored with ourselves. I love the statement from my Bible Study regarding wisdom being linked with gentleness. ‘In my … flesh, I delude myself into thinking that harshness and severity are worth it if another person is fortunate enough to gain my superior perspective. Wrong. The gentleness that is linked to wisdom in this context means living out of the knowledge that I am not the priority here.’ James – Mercy Triumphs, p. 124
What is the anecdote for this kind of gentle wisdom? It is to consider that we are no better than another (Phil 2:3 – ‘Consider others better than yourselves.’) It is to recognize that Christ climbed up on that cross feeling the same amount of love for me as he did for you and for that person who makes our stomach churn. (John 3:16 – ‘God gave his only son for whosoever believes in Him…’) It is to strive to be peacemakers and gentle ambassadors to Christ striving for the righteousness for which we were created. (James 3:18 – ‘Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.’) We have a lot to strive for but we have the ladder of Christ to climb up on that reaches all the way home…ahhhh….Heaven.
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