January 2, 2019
James 3:13-18 The Message (MSG)
Wisdom in any human life begins when that life worships the One True God. Worship is willingly and joyfully placing ourselves under God’s authority and reign. Therefore, worshipers of God should be the wisest people living, because we live to please our audience of One with holy lives he alone creates in us. If we are not living our worship we are not living wisely; worship is a lifestyle of living as Christ.
In this new year as God’s children, sons and daughters, we have an opportunity to renew our commitment and turn our attention and lives toward a renewed aim of pleasing God above all; making God our first love and priority. If all of us are committed to doing these things, we will find ourselves as a spiritual community living in the blessing of God, as well as getting along with one another because we are working hard to live wisely. If you want real wisdom, you will have to work for it by setting new priorities that your flesh may not welcome.
James 3:13-18 Live Well, Live Wisely
13-16 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
17-18 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for teaching me what it takes to live wisely. I know getting along with people—even those who are a challenge to love—is a part of learning to live in wisdom. Holy Spirit, continue to develop wisdom in me every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.