Ever come in contact with those people who think they know it all? I mean, you can’t even voice your opinion about a which yogurt tastes the best without him/her commenting on why the yogurt you chose is actually worse than licking chalk off the chalkboard. Or what about when having a spiritual discussion and you meet someone who might as well be Jesus, because she knows ALL the answers and completely knows how you should live your life in order to see God’s blessings. I have to admit, I’ve been the later. It’s not so much that I think I know it all. I am finding every day God humbles me and shows me exactly what I don’t know. But I want to help. I want to help the young lady to has just had her heart smashed into microscopic pieces. I want to help the friend who can’t seem to understand why the girl of his dreams is not responding to his efforts. I just want to help, but I have realized that in my efforts to try to help, I have become a talker and not a listener. I think I know how to fix the problem before even hearing IF there is a problem.
So upon reading this passage in James and others in Proverbs about wisdom, it was a reality check. I’m not all that wise. The wisest choice I’ve ever made in my life what to have a relationship with Christ. That’s it. Other than that, I’m a dumb sheep tripping over my own feet any chance I get. Grace is not one of my characteristics, thankfully it is one of God’s. And He is loving enough and gracious enough to inspire these men of old to write down God’s love letter to us. And in this passage, I felt lead to share a few pointers.
1. A person with Godly wisdom will show his wisdom not in his words, but in his humble actions.
2. A person with ungodly wisdom will be filled with envy and selfish ambition.
3. This envy and selfish ambition will lead to chaos and “every evil practice”.
4. Godly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
5. Finally, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
I want to tackle the ungodly wisdom before diving into God’s wisdom. It dawned on me why “know-it-alls” are who they are. They are competitive people, that “harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition”. It might sound harsh, but really analyze that for a moment. If I am going to be completely honest with you, in my past experiences of trying to help people with my wisdom, I was trying to show off my battle scars and instead of giving glory completely back to God, I wanted to share in it. It was like, “Look at me and what I did and what I went through, with God’s help, of course.” I wanted to prove myself to be worthy to listen into. To validate myself as a strong Christian. But the fact of the matter is that God should have been the first person listed in those comments. “Look what GOD brought me through.” And if anyone had a better life experience, I wanted to “one up” so that I looked more official. It sounds all so stupid now that I’m actually admitting it, but it’s the sad and honest truth. It would go so far as to me being jealous if other women in church were called to minister or to give a sermon and not me. What reason did I have to be jealous? This is all suppose to be about God and His church! Not Brayden and her ministry. It’s not suppose to be about me at all! And according to James 3:14 I need to own up to my faults.
And this is where the chaos starts. Can you imagine what a church would be like if we all were vying for attention? If we all were “know-it-alls”? Nothing would be accomplished because my way is better than your way, of course! And instead of having unity in the Church as Christ desired, we would be torn apart and ineffective, which is exactly what the devil wants.
Ok, so maybe you’re not as crazy as I am about knowing everything I can about being a Christian. Are you a parent who thinks you have raised the most well-behaved children and should make sure every new mom in town knows how to correctly swaddle a baby? Are you an employee who has worked himself up to the top and brag about where you have brought yourself from? Are you a worker bee climbing the corporate ladder to make sure you have the latest and greatest things to make yourself look good? The list can go on and on about areas of our lives where we show our false wisdom.
But the list needs to stop. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to intervene in our lives and correct us. We all have fallen short of the glory of God, meaning we can not share the limelight. When God has done something miraculous in our lives, it’s all about Him. It’s always been about Him, but we quickly forget. James tells us that God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, and good fruit, impartial and sincere. I was given a perfect example of godly wisdom this past week.
A friend of mine called me because a family member had broken her trust. My friend, we’ll call her Zoey, wanted advice on how to handle this situation in a godly manner. Zoey desperately wants to show God in all her actions and in her words. Ya know, she just loves her some Jesus! Anywho, I told her to lash out irrationally at the family member until that person had met Jesus! I sometimes get a pit over-dramatic and like to put people in their places like that one chick from Designing Women. But Zoey had a better idea: she decided to suck it up. It is not that she is letting the person get away with the wrong doing, but she is trusting God will take care of the situation. Instead of putting her needs in front of God, she is allowing God to meet her needs and use her as an example of godly wisdom. Now, I do not know at this time if the situation has been remedied, but I do know this: Zoey showed great self-restraint and great faith. See, according to Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” This fear is not a terrified fear, but more of a respectful fear. See, my friend knows God and fears Him, respects Him. She knows at least this one thing: God is good and I am not. And while this family member has wronged me, I have wronged Jesus. So as He has forgiven me, I will forgive her. And all of this leads to peace. At least inner peace if not more.
I’m going to wrap up with this, I encourage you to read a proverb a day for the next month. We need wisdom. It’s so important that James has brought it up twice now. The first time in chapter one he states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.” The Bible warns that God’s people perish for lack of wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of stumbling along in this life not sure what to do or what to say. The more breaths I breathe, the more I need God’s wisdom. I do not know it all, but I know the One who does.
You reign supreme in my life. I humbly submit myself to you as someone who constantly needs your grace, your mercy, and your wisdom. I pray as we continue to grow in you that you would shine down upon us and bless us with Your knowledge and understanding. Draw us closer to you.
In Your precious name,
Y’all have a great night!