September 8, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Who do you consider to be particularly wise? Maybe it’s a trusted friend.  Perhaps a grandparent that offered tidbits of wisdom over the years.  Maybe a trusted counselor or pastor.  Perhaps it is someone who has shown the ability to help in the midst of difficult situations.  I think we often have the tendency to equate wisdom with the ability to pass along knowledge to others.  James offers us a different take on what true wisdom looks like.  He equates wisdom with how we live and act.  Let’s look at his take on wisdom together this morning. 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

When I read these words from James I tend to think about the many arguments and disagreements that I see in the world today.  I think James would say that the wise person is somehow able to stay above the fray.  Avoiding these quarrels and disagreements about who is right and who is wrong.  The wise person doesn’t need to be right or win the argument or convince others of their way.  I love James’ definition of what it means to have Godly wisdom – pure, peace loving, submissive, considerate, impartial, and sincere. Full of mercy and good fruit.  Too often today I see “wisdom” that is angry, pushy, demanding of its own way, and contentious.  I pray that God might grant me and all of us Godly wisdom.  Wisdom that wouldn’t convince others of our way but that would make others simply want to be with us and like us. 

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave