We are going through 1 Corinthians 12 at church and small group, so we have been considering the spiritual gifts. If we have displayed any at different times, Mike and I have probably displayed the gift of wisdom. But it's easy for our types to become prideful and arrogant. So reading James 3 today, I thought it was an excellent checklist to see if I'm full of selfish ambition (my own widsom) or full of godly wisdom.
- If we are wise, we won't just have words, we will have works - actions - that show goodness.
- Wisdom is meek - it doesn't hit others over the head or bully them. (Some popular talk radio and TV hosts come to mind.)
- Wisdom does not boast. The wise person isn't out to prove they're wise.
- Wisdom is pure, and won't have any hint or stain of anything impure.
- It is peaceable. One translation says it is not contentious - something I can often be. It isn't out for a fight or to prove it is right.
- It is gentle. It gently takes someone by the hand and guides them toward wisdom. It doesn't attack and drag the other person to their way of thinking.
- Wisdom is open to reason. I've always missed this one before, reading in NIV, which translates this as "considerate." NASB has it as "reasonable," and Young's Literal has it as "easily entreated." I love this one. Wisdom isn't obdurate. It doesn't plug its ears and say, "La, la, la, I'm not listening. I'm right; you're wrong." It is open to listen to the reasoning of others.
- Wisdom is full of mercy. It isn't coldly focused on facts, but is full of concern and compassion for the person.
- Wisdom is full of good fruits. A wise life will not just spout off intelligent sound bytes, but will live a life of goodness, and will bring forth good, not contention.
- Wisdom is impartial. Another translation has it "unwavering." Wisdom, though open to reason, doesn't change its tune because someone important has the opposite view. It isn't persuaded by worldly things.
- Wisdom is sincere, or "without hypocrisy," as NASB translates it. Wisdom doesn't say one thing to someone else, then go in the other room and do the opposite. Wisdom isn't a game in which we display our smarts. It is a sincere reflection of how we live our lives.
When we are wise, we will sow righteousness in the world, but we will do it as peacemakers.