Which wisdom do I have?

Last week Trevor preached on wisdom. The sermon was based on Ecclesiastes 7. It was great listening to God’s word on this matter. And Trevor’s main points gave a good summary of how God teaches us to live a wise life. Let me remind you of them now.

Firstly, a wise person sees suffering as a time of instruction (v1-6). Secondly, a wise person recognises what can damage one’s character (v7-12). Thirdly, a wise person acknowledges God’s providence over everything and therefore fears God (v13-19). Fourthly, a wise person knows one’s limitations, sees how universal sin is, and also how harmful foolish living can be (v20-29). These are some truths about wisdom God wants his people to know.

And what I found helpful as I reflected on Trevor’s sermon is reading James 3. Not only does James tell us what wisdom is, he tells us what wisdom isn’t and what a wise life looks like. James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbour 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, of the devil. 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 raise a harvest of righteousness.

Facebook has lots of “Which …. are you?” James here asks the same question but about wisdom. God generously teaches us the best way we can live, day to day in this life. If you were to do the test of James 3:13-18, “which wisdom do you have?” It would be a shame not to listen and learn from God as he blesses us with his wisdom. For me, it would not be humble to say I have mastered verses 17-18 but I am certainly focussing on them. What will you focus on?

Chris Forder

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