wisdom from above

Russell Minick Leave a Comment

There is a description of a mature, composed person:

James 3
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The contrast is between harshly driven ‘self’ vs. granted (from above) poise.  Wise enough to be:
pure – not mixed
peaceable, gentle, open to reason – not fearful, willing to consider options
full of mercy, character (good fruits), impartial, sincere – not hollow, already defined by transcendent good, not just a personally defined ‘good’ (e.g. ‘good for me’)

What is gained by being someone who receives and applies ‘wisdom from above’?
a crop of ‘righteousness’
again, what is ‘righteousness’?  Things as they should be.  Copacetic, and all that 😉

How should I pursue this ‘rightness’, this shalom, this sukkha, this ‘yeah baby, that’s what i’m talkin’ ’bout!’, this ‘yesssss’?

be at peace and go about things peacefully (not unilaterally, e.g. selfishly, connivingly).

How does that happen?  Circle back to ‘wisdom from above’.  The GOSPEL is that Jesus is Supreme, which personally means his offer of reconciliation to God (supreme good and great) is real and applicable to me without costs (e.g. ‘gratis’).

I should not be grabby and aggressive.
I should turn upward to God and receive his gracious wisdom.
That should calm me down, mainly due to feeling safe, loved, provided for, informed, etc.
Then I look at opportunities with a belief that there is a healthy, shalom-type outcome to pursue
That makes it easier not to get defensive, anxious and weird
Then I learn more and am able to better reconcile concepts (beliefs, ideals, etc.) and actual experiences.
Done rightly this goes from peace (at rest with God), through peace (not anxious when encountering options) to peace (actually good outcomes, or contentment with challenges if things don’t work out).

That seems to be what is going on in the end of James 3.  James 4 will describe why that is so hard to achieve.

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