Summary: An Expositional Series on the Book of James
Wisdom of Character
Last week we spoke of the evil that the tongue can get us into and how the tongue, and how people use it, can be a good sign of where people are in their Christian life. And the totality of the first part of James 3 is summed up in verse 9.
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the likeness of God.”
You cannot curse your brother and at the same time say that you love God.
1 John 2:8-11 states it this way: Now, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes.
You might say pastor, I don’t hate my brother or sister, I just don’t like them. We all have issues. You and your issues are no better or worse than your brother of sisters. In comparison to God we all stink.
But if you are using your tongue to tear down your brother or sister in Christ, if you speak negatively behind their back you are doing them wrong and your words are tearing down your own world, not theirs.
So who is the wise man James ask (Look at verse 13)?
James 3:13 Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
• It is the person whose Conversation (Conduct in life) “his works” show the truth
• It is the person whose life is characterized by a meekness in dealing with others in the family of God and outside.
According to Bill Farmer's newspaper column, J. Upton Dickson was a fun-loving fellow who said he was writing a book entitled Cower Power.
• He also founded a group of submissive people. It was called DOORMATS.
• "Dependent Organization Of Really Meek And Timid Souls
• " Their motto was: "The meek shall inherit the earth
• " They symbol was the yellow traffic light.
General Douglas MacArthur, In prayer for his Son I think spells out some of the formula for true character and meekness of Wisdom:
"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, & brave enough to face himself when he is afraid. One who will be proud & unbending in honest defeat, & humble & gentle in victory.”
"Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds - a son who will know Thee, who is the foundation stone of knowledge.”
“Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease & comfort, but under the stress & spur of difficulties & challenge.”
"Here let him learn to stand up to the storm.”
“Here let him learn compassion for those who fail.”
“Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
"And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious but never take himself too seriously.
“Give him humility so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, & an open mind of true wisdom, & the meekness of true strength.”
"Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, `I have not lived in vain.’"
If you look for God in your brother and sister in Christ, see them for who they will be when God finishes with them then you will be wise and endued with knowledge.
But James goes on to say (verse 14)
14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
If you do not look at yourself for who you really are then you lie against the truth.
• Is there bitterness in your life from things that are beyond your control and you tend to take it out on others?
• Are you always arguing with someone and never solving the issues at hand?
• Does your bitterness separate your from others?
James Says: Glory Not! Lie not! against the truth.
• Glory Not! – a proud, arrogant stance for your truth (your way of dealing with life over others)