Summary: This sermon discusses wisdom in the earthly and heavenly realm and the importance of heavenly over earthly.
Text: “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).
What is wisdom?
One person said that wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.
J.I Packer said, “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.”
Doug Larson said, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.”
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, wisdom is: Understanding of what is true, right, or lasting.
James asks the question: “Who is wise and understanding among you?” (v.13). Are any of us present here wise and understanding? All of us have been alive a good number of years. I believe I am correct if I say the age range is 66 to 97. Since we have made it this far, we must understand what is true, right and lasting.
We may not always do what is right, but we know what is right. We know how to treat people regardless of their race, color, creed, background, place in society, etc. We realize that everyone is different, because God did not make two people identical. We know that we have strong points and weak points and other people’s strong and weak points are different from ours.
We say things that are pleasing to God our Father, but then there are times when our words are destructive or harmful to people and offensive to God. True wisdom can be measured by the way we act. As a child, we learned to respect other people and their possessions. We might not have obeyed our parents all the time, but we knew we should. The times we were disobedient to our parents brought forth a quick remembrance by our parents.
As we grew, we learned of our role concerning responsibility. When we were in school, we had the wisdom to know the seriousness of education and the importance of learning through completing lessons handed to us by our teachers. We soon learned the importance of getting sufficient sleep which enabled us to perform better in studies, sports, singing in the chorus, and performing in the band.
As time passed, we developed relationships with more and more people. At a certain time, our relationship to a very special person formed. Now our attention is turned to the love of our life. We begin to do what is true and right for this person because we are looking for a lasting relationship. As the days pass, our wisdom and knowledge increases. Our character is molded into one of understanding, caring, loving, and being compassionate.
We show our wisdom by the way we live and the way we treat other people. We are kind, considerate, and loving to our family, friends, and to all other people we meet. We are excited about going the second mile to help someone in need. We like to be with people, because they too were created in the image of God.
We learned that if we are to survive in this life, we must be wise or have wisdom. Everything is not going to go our way, but that does not mean it’s wrong. Just because everyone does not see things our way, or everyone does not like us, or people say things of dishonor to us, does not mean we are to retaliate with bitter harsh words. We are to follow Jesus’ words: “This is my command: Love each other” (John 15:17). As Christians, many in the world will hate us, but we are to love and support one another.