“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.”
James 3:17, NIV
Our culture has become obsessed with conventional wisdom. Our newspapers and magazines are covered with print that in an audible medium would be hot air. Television, even years ago, was famously characterized as a “vast wasteland.” I once heard Oprah Winfrey referred to as the most dangerous woman in America. The reference was to her amazing influence and humanistic nature of her message. We live in an age that puts a high premium on wisdom. But what kind of wisdom is it?
James could have been referring to our world when he wrote, “such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil (3:15). In this passage James distinguishes between high and low wisdom. Low wisdom is first “earthly.” That means it comes from a flawed source-the fallen world.
In addition, it is “unspiritual.” It has no relationship to the Spirit. The word translated unspiritual in the original language meant sensual or belonging to the natural world. This so-called wisdom, that characterizes our age, is demonic. It has its origin in the lies of the enemy.
As Christians we are called to aspire to higher wisdom. This is wisdom that comes from heaven – from God. James says if you lack divine wisdom, ask God for it. He promises to give it generously (1:5-7). All that is needed is to read the content:encoded of high wisdom that is given in today’s text to recommend it to all people. Sadly, people love darkness rather than light (3:19). We are people of the light. We must embrace the wisdom from above, the wisdom of God-higher wisdom.
Question: Are you successfully tuning out the wisdom of this world in favor of the wisdom of God? The source is God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Study and listen!