James 3:13-18 (TPT)
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.
I want to build a reputation for wisdom; to be real, honest, and sincere before God and in my dealings with others. I am not nor will I ever perform perfectly, but I can still be wise. I won’t always preach the perfect sermon, but I can still be wise. I won’t always receive the applause of people, but I can still be wise. To be wise is to be right with God and to live humbly and lovingly while treating others with dignity and respect. In our passage today, the Apostle James teaches believers if we are actually living in the wisdom of God, our lives will radiate the proof of that wisdom because we will be humble and peace-loving. When we are filled with selfish ambition and we are willing to diminish or hurt others by setting ourselves up to judge them, we are actually opening up a door for evil.
Prayer: Father, thank you for placing within me the desire to build a reputation for wisdom. May I live well and wisely, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.