I once said that writing is history. But the beauty of history in writing is the opportunity it gives to assess progress. It’s one thing to document the past for keepsakes, but it’s even more important to go back to them to see how far from history we have moved; for better or for worse.
Today’s post is an old one. I wrote it in 2013 and came across it recently. As I read it again, I could see evidence of the work God has been doing on my heart since that time, and to see that progress has been made gives me the courage to continue to walk with Him and trust Him enough to take every broken piece that is my life and make me whole again.
Wisdom. Knowledge. Envy. Strife – James 3:13-17 (25.07.13)
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
This passage talks about people who have wisdom and understanding and the origins of these attributes. The first is one that comes from above. In James 3:13, it says that anyone who has wisdom and understanding should show their works through a good conversation with meekness of wisdom. I believe this means that anyone who is endued with wisdom should never come across as proud, but in the delivery of their works, which most likely would be in conversation (verbal, written or otherwise), must be meek and humble.
Another set of people are called wise, but they have the wisdom that is earthly. This is because their wisdom thrives on competition, born from envy and strife. This means, I believe, that if I “tap dance at the failure of others” (in the words of Gabrielle Union) and show myself wise at the expense of my presumed foolishness of others, then most certainly my wisdom is of the earth and is demonic. James said that if we have envy and strife, then whatever wisdom we try to exhibit lies against the truth, because the true wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated (open to reason), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
I see this a lot in myself. When my opinions are challenged, especially when I think that this opinion is birth from wisdom, I begin to boil up inside of me, either in anger or in disgust. This is because I truly am not driven by the wisdom that comes from above which is characterized by purity, meekness and mercy.
So how can I attain all the characteristics of the wisdom from above? I must first seek my wisdom from above.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
This can only be done by remaining in communion with the Father. Many times, our words are born from our selfish inspiration, so when it is challenged, it hurts only our selfish pride. But when our words are inspired from the Lord and we get challenged, we would not take offence, because first of all, the wisdom did not come from us, so we have no reason for our egos to be bruised. And like Jesus, we would address every opposition in mercy and meekness. Also, we must ensure that our personal interpretation of scripture or any certain issue should never be used as a yoke upon another, neither as a measure of how more spiritual we are compared to another. Scripture is inspired, and so will every interpretation, therefore, it rests on the Holy Spirit alone to wear on the shoulders of another the sleeves of that interpretation when it has been brought to light. This is the greatest sign of meekness.
It is my prayer that my heart is so inclined to The Lord that everything that proceeds from me will reflect the meekness that comes from the wisdom that is from above. ~ 25/07/13
I don’t know if you spotted my testimony in that piece. Not so long ago, I used to shy away from sharing any of my writings in public because of the fear of being challenged or opposed. I would boil up inside, I could literally feel those hormonal chemicals mix up to form an atomic bomb ready to explode if anyone came with a counter-comment or idea. But God, through the study above, began to show me that I felt that way because of the wisdom I claimed to possess but unfortunately which was not from Him. Yes, I might be smart and all, but when my wisdom is laced with pride, it certainly isn’t of God. That was why I never started a blog and would share my thoughts only on platforms that I could easily control. As I came across this piece, I knew God had done a solid one on me. I can’t remember when last I felt that sting and this blog is 2 years old. There’s no area of our lives God cannot transform if only we will let him expose them to flush them out.
To Him alone be all the glory!