Daily Devotional 9-30-19

Holy and Unholy Wisdom
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:13-17

It’s all about the fruits! A tree is known by its fruits. It is not so much the talk, but the acts. 

Wisdom and understanding are not philosophical concepts. They are not just mental accents. Instead, they are evidenced in how people conduct their personal and public affairs. They are so practical. We show people we are wise by how we live and interact with others. Our conversations, responses to pressure, and challenges in life reveal whether we are walking with pure wisdom or demonic one. Both heavenly and earthly wisdom have their seats in the heart.  They are not mind-based. They determine what we do and say. They defile or edify and sanctify a person.

James, spells out the fruits of heavenly wisdom: purity, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield (surrender to God) mercy-filled, without partiality and hypocrisy.  Seems these have lots in common with the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

On the contrary, the fruits of sensual and demonic wisdom are envy, bitterness, self-centeredness, lies, and boastfulness, etc.  These also align with the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. 

Looks like for James, the lines have been drawn. He is encouraging us to embody heavenly wisdom as the Holy Spirit gives us strength. As a follower of Christ, there may be times where you exhibit some earthly wisdom, because of temptations and trials. The most important thing is to recognize, repent, and run away from it. Don’t stay in it. For we have been saved to walk in heavenly wisdom.

PRAYER: Lord, grant me the strength to walk in the fruits of heavenly wisdom. Grant me the grace to know when I am off so I could turn back to divine wisdom.