Who is the wisest person you know or have known? Why do you say that? How did they show their wisdom?
Wisdom is about action. It’s about character. James says if you have wisdom from above . . . then you’re going to be pure. There’s going to be a holiness about your life.
The Bible has a great amount of teaching about wisdom. One regular theme is that true wisdom doesn’t talk about itself. The wise person recognizes his or her own limitations and does not boast. The wise person knows how short life is and has a healthy fear of the Lord.
James’s audience considered themselves wise, and they boasted about it. They liked to be well-respected, and when they saw others who got more respect, they envied them, criticized them, and tried to get ahead of them. Perhaps this started with a genuine desire for righteousness, but this desire was soon clouded by impure motives, by personal ambition.
Let’s work for peace. But let’s not be drawn in by those who boldly claim that they are wiser than everyone else. Be wary of impure motives. Be careful what you listen to. Think once more about the wisest people you know. They probably don’t have all the answers, but they’re wise enough to go to God to get the answers.
Do something to honor a person whose wisdom you have been blessed by. If the person is still living, thank them by telling them what they have taught you. If they have passed, then thank God for them, and find some way to commemorate their effect on your life.
And that’s the memo.
By Francis Chan