Summary: The effects of Godly wisdom on our lives as opposed to living by worldly wisdom.
James: Religion That Works
“The Wisdom Effect”
March 26, 2006
What is wisdom? Is it knowledge? Is it maturity? Is it simply old age? If you ask different people about what wisdom is, you are guaranteed to get different answers.
“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” Immanuel Kant
“It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.” Sam Levenson
“The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.” Cicero
Wisdom has amazing benefits in our lives. However, the key is choosing to be wise in the right things. You can be wise in the wrong things and it does no good. But wisdom that comes from God makes all the difference in our lives.
Today we want to look at James writing to Christians about the effect of Godly wisdom on their lives. We need to remember the context in which James is writing. He has just addressed the leaders of the persecuted church and is reminding them that their words matter. Now, he goes into a teaching about the source of the words and the character of the heart.
I. Your Actions Reflect Your Belief
James has over and over again in the letter told his readers that the most important thing they can have is a connection between their heart and their actions. He makes it very clear that action in our lives is a reflection of the belief in our heart.
“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.” James 3:13 (NIV)
James notes that the way you show the guiding influence of your life is by the actions of your life.
Actions are the reflection of the heart.
When James talks about the “good life,” he is not talking about prosperity but moral goodness.
Wisdom is not something to be possessed in the brain, but it is to be demonstrated in our conduct.
James says that the way we show a good life is through the deeds of our lives.
James notes that the result of Godly wisdom in our lives is humility.
Humility is a personal quality where an individual shows dependence on God and respect for others.
A truly humble life is modeled after the life of Jesus. Jesus spoke often of humility.
"You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” Matthew 5:5 (The Message)
Jesus calls people who enter his kingdom to come humbly.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (NIV)
Jesus invites people to come and learn from him specifically because he is humble and gentle.
Two keys to humility:
1) A willingness to hear the Word of God.
“A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 (God’s Word)
We must be willing to hear the true word of God and not “Hallmark Theology.”
2) A willingness to do the Word of God.