James Series: God’s Wisdom or Worldly Wisdom? A Test of Faith (3:13-18)

March 21, 2020

 

 

God’s Wisdom or Worldly Wisdom? A Test of Faith

 

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.

James 3:13-18 (NET)

 

 

In the book of James, the apostle has been putting the faith of believers on trial. His premise is that true faith always produces good works, and faith that doesn’t produce good works isn’t genuine. In fact, in James 2:17 and 26, he declares twice that faith without works is dead. In James 1:12, he taught that true faith endures trials. He says, “Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.” Instead of ultimately turning away from God and his church in trials, truth faith remains faithful to the Lord and will be rewarded. In James 1:22, he teaches that true faith obeys God’s Word instead of simply listening to it.  He says, “But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.” A faith that doesn’t obey God’s Word is deceived. In James 1:26, he teaches that true faith restrains the tongue. He says, “If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.” He then re-emphasizes that in James 3:1-12, as he teaches about the power of the tongue to destroy. It’s apparent that these Jewish Christians were tearing each other apart with their words, which is why James mentions the tongue in every chapter of his book. In James 1:27, he teaches that true faith cares for the vulnerable, instead of practicing partiality and prejudice. He says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James re-emphasizes this in James 2:1-13 as he challenged the believers to not honor the rich and dishonor the poor, lest they be judged by God.  

 

Now in James 3:13-18, James argues that true faith lives by God’s wisdom instead of secular, worldly wisdom. He describes how God’s wisdom is from above (Jam 3:17) and how worldly wisdom is earthly, natural, and demonic (Jam 3:15). The wisdom we live by tells us who we are truly following—God or the world. It is apparent that many amongst these Jewish Christians, instead of living by God’s wisdom, were living by secular wisdom, which was causing great conflict in their communities. Some had even been murdered because of the conflict (Jam 4:2).

 

Worldly wisdom teaches warped views on what beauty is, success, marriage, parenting, sexuality, and morality in general. If followed, this wisdom always leads to evil and disorder, as James 3:17 teaches. Worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom are virtual opposites and have opposite fruits.

 

In James 3:13-18, James compares and contrasts the fruits of God’s wisdom and worldly wisdom, so the Jewish Christians could test their faith and see what and who they were really following. The wisdom that we live by is a test of the genuineness of our faith. It demonstrates whether we simply listen to God’s Word and are deceived about our faith or do we actually practice it (Jam 1:22). Therefore, as we go through James’ list of fruits, we must ask ourselves, “Which fruits are we manifesting?” and “What do they say about the wisdom we are living by and therefore our faith?”

 

Big Question: What are fruits of God’s wisdom and worldly wisdom?

 

The Fruits of God’s Wisdom

 

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings … But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.

James 3:13, 17-18

 

When James says, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” (Jam 3:13), he may be referring specifically to those who were claiming to be teachers in James 3:1. In the Greek, “wise” was a technical term used for a rabbi or teacher.[1] Apparently, they were claiming to have great wisdom and understanding, but their lives did not reflect that. Though James might have been specifically talking to the teachers, the lessons on wisdom certainly applied to all. In fact, many of the fruits of God’s wisdom are reflected in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-10), which are characteristics of those in God’s kingdom—those who are truly saved (cf. Matt 5:3 and 10). Since James commonly refers to the Sermon on the Mount throughout the letter (at least twenty-one times[2]), no doubt, he had them in mind throughout this list, as tests of true faith.

 

Observation Question: What are the fruits of godly wisdom?

 

1. God’s wisdom leads to good works (v. 13).

 

James said, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings.” For James, wisdom, like faith, was not simply intellectual. Those with true faith and true wisdom live it out. Therefore, those with godly wisdom demonstrate it in every area of life: their work habits, their response to conflict, how they treat their family and friends, and how they live out their faith around the world. Consequently, we must ask ourselves, “Is God’s wisdom being displayed in all of our conduct? Or Is it compartmentalized to Sunday service and weekly Bible study?”

 

2. God’s wisdom leads to gentleness (v. 13).

 

The Greek word is hard to translate into English. It is often translated “humility” or “meekness.” It’s the same word used in the Matthew 5:3 beatitude, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” This word does not refer to weakness, but strength under control. It was a used of a wild horse that had been tamed. The horse is powerful, but the power is under a master’s control.  For believers, their subdued power is demonstrated in how they now submit to Jesus as Lord of their lives, where before they were like wild horses—in rebellion against God and his control.

 

This power is especially demonstrated in how one responds when mistreated and when others are mistreated. When Christ was falsely accused before going to the cross, he said nothing. He didn’t defend himself; he was like a lamb. However, when others were mistreated, he was like a lion. He flipped over tables and kicked people out of the temple. He used his power at the right time and for the right purposes. Likewise, God’s wisdom guides us on how and when to use this power. We should be gentle when personally offended but fierce when others are hurt and abused.

 

Is God’s wisdom guiding us to be gentle when personally offended and fierce when others are abused? Are we submitting to the Lord and allowing him to guide our lives?

 

3. God’s wisdom leads to being pure (v. 17).

 

When James says, “wisdom from above is first poor,” this means purity is the priority of the wise. The word “pure” means unmixed and free from defilement. It probably focuses on a person’s inner motives, which affects how he or she lives. This reflects the Matthew 5:8 beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” When somebody is living for God and by his wisdom, it provokes them to not only get rid of outward sins like immorality, lying, and cursing but also inward sins like pride, anger, self-condemnation, judgmentalism, and lust. Second Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God.” Is our priority being holy in our thoughts and actions so that we can please God? If not, then we are not living by God’s wisdom. Those who are truly wise focus on becoming pure (in body and spirit) and because of that they see and experience more of God in their daily lives.

 

4. God’s wisdom leads to being peaceable (v. 17).

 

This word can also be translated “peace-loving” (NIV). It reflects the Matthew 5:9 beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” God’s wisdom leads believers to passionately pursue the restoration of people’s relationships with God. For the truly wise, if their friends and family are unbelievers or believers who are falling away from God, they prayerfully share the gospel or offer loving correction. They are peace-loving. They love it when others are walking with the Lord. For the wise, if people in their community are in discord, they prayerfully help with restoration.

 

Are we demonstrating God’s wisdom in our lives by being peace-loving? Unfortunately, some infected by worldly wisdom actually enjoy gossip, discord, and fighting. It’s a sign of spiritual unhealth and possibly not being redeemed at all.

 

5. God’s wisdom leads to being gentle (v. 17).

 

This is another difficult word to translate in English. It is different from the one translated “gentleness” in verse 13. It can also be translated “considerate, agreeableness, courtesy, reasonableness, kindly, or forbearance.” This means instead of being harsh with others, who actually deserve it, one commonly responds with gentleness, patience, and mercy. The best way to translate this word may be “forbearance.” God is gentle with us when we fail, and the person following God’s wisdom commonly is the same way with people who fail him or her. Are we gently bearing the failings of those around us, including our friends and family? Or are we harsh, unforgiving, and even retaliatory?

 

6. God’s wisdom leads to being accommodating (v. 17).

 

This word can also be translated “submissive” or “reasonable.” Instead of being one that always wants to argue and prove that they are right, God’s wisdom leads people to be teachable, willing to listen and change when proved wrong. Proverbs 9:8 (NIV) says, “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.” Are we stubborn in our friendships, church relationships, or even marriages? Some people can’t be told anything because they think they already know everything. However, the truly wise person realizes that he or she doesn’t know much at all and, therefore, is willing to learn and be corrected. God’s wisdom leads us to be reasonable, not stubborn. If we are stubborn and slow to listen to others, we reflect worldly, selfish wisdom—not God’s.

 

7. God’s wisdom leads to being full of mercy and good fruit (v. 17).

 

Since God is merciful, reaching out to save the lost, forgiving their sins, and having a special affection for the poor and vulnerable, those endowed with God’s wisdom will do the same. Instead of holding grudges, God’s wisdom leads to forgiving others as Christ forgave us (Eph 4:32). God’s wisdom also leads to caring for the most vulnerable. Again, James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This characteristic reflects the Matthew 5:7 beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy.”

 

Being merciful means three things: (1) We must see the needs of those around us. This is where a lot of us fail, we simply don’t recognize the problems around us because we’re so focused on ourselves. (2) We must feel their pain. Certainly, this is a grace that only God can give, but we also feel people’s pain, when, instead of being detached, we get involved with their lives. (3) Finally, we must act to relieve their pain. Biblically, mercy is not just seeing and empathizing, it is compassion in action.

 

Are the good fruits of mercy abounding in our lives? The fruits of mercy prove that we are being guided by God’s wisdom and therefore have true faith (cf. Jam 1:27).

 

8. God’s wisdom leads to being impartial (v. 17).

 

This means one treats everybody equally—the poor, rich, young, old, the beautiful, the less attractive, the athletic, the unathletic, and those from different ethnic backgrounds. When the world exalts one and dishonors another, God’s wisdom leads us to believe that all people are made in the image of God to reflect his glory and therefore each person has great dignity and purpose. Are we partial like world—honoring the rich, the young, and healthy—or are we impartial like God?

 

In addition, it should be noted that this word can also be translated “unwavering” as in the NASB. In this case, it might reflect being consistent in our relationship with God—not changing with the winds of opinion or circumstances. We believe God’s Word and are committed to it, instead of being inconsistent—up and down—in our spiritual lives.

 

9. God’s wisdom leads to not being hypocritical (v. 17).

 

This word can also be translated “sincere.” The word has the sense of not wearing a mask or playing a part in a play. It means to be “undisguised.”[3] With actors, they perform in a play in order to receive applause. Unfortunately, many Christians do their Christian works for this purpose. Like the Pharisees, their giving, praying, fasting, prayer requests, and testimonies are broadcasted for others to see and think well of them (cf. Matt 6:1-5), instead of focusing on God’s approval. This is worldly wisdom and not God’s. Those guided by God’s wisdom focus on an audience of one. Their profession is genuine. Their life on Sunday is the same on Monday. Those guided by God’s wisdom are sincere instead of hypocritical.

 

10. God’s wisdom leads to patiently laboring like a farmer for righteousness and peace (v. 18).

 

In James 3:18, James seems to give a summary statement regarding the characteristics of God’s wisdom. [4] It says, “And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.” “Fruit that consists of righteousness” can also be translated “harvest of righteousness.” Though hard to translate and interpret, James’ point can’t be missed: Righteousness and peace don’t happen by accident in a family, a church, a workplace, or a nation. It must be patiently labored for just like a farmer works for a harvest. Worldly wisdom naturally leads to sin and discord in our communities. That is the normal default, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they arise. To have peace and righteousness in our relationships, believers must faithfully sow patience, impartiality, endurance, mercy, and other good works, even in the midst of seeming chaos.

 

As God’s peacemakers, we must understand this: Our world’s greatest needs are peace and righteousness, and as those with God’s wisdom, we are the ones who sow them, as we bring Christ into every situation. We must remember this verse in our ministry to others, especially when we feel discouraged: “So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9).

 

Are we patiently laboring for peace and righteousness in the sphere’s God has placed us, especially in seasons of hopelessness, fear, difficulty, and conflict? This is what God’s wisdom leads us to.

 

Application Question: Which characteristic of God’s wisdom stood out most to you and why? Which one do you feel God wants you to prioritize and cultivate in this current season of life?

 

The Fruits of Worldly Wisdom

 

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:14-16

 

James also describes the fruits of secular, worldly wisdom so the Jewish Christians could consider if that was guiding their hearts instead of God’s wisdom.

 

Observation Question: What are the fruits of worldly wisdom?

 

1. Worldly wisdom leads to bitter jealousy (v. 14).

 

“Bitter jealousy” can also be translated “bitter envy.” The word “bitter” means “pointed” or “sharp.” James seems to be referring to the worst type of jealousy and envy—the kind that is harsh, destructive, and doesn’t care for the feelings or welfare of its objects.[5]

 

As mentioned, this challenge was probably especially pointed at those proclaiming themselves as teachers. Pastors and ministers have a tendency to be prone to this: They are envious of the size of others’ ministries, churches, or spiritual platforms. Sometimes they are even secretly happy when others fail or go through difficulties (cf. Phil 1:15-17). But this is not just, at times, true of those in ministry but other believers as well.

 

Envy and jealousy typically arise when we are comparing ourselves with others—what they have and what we don’t have. In fact, social media has made us more prone to this. People typically only post online about the good things happening in their lives and rarely about the mundane or bad things. When looking at a friend’s feed, people think, “Wow! God is really blessings them! Why isn’t he blessing me?” or “That’s not fair!” or “He’s not that good!” or “I’m better!” While considering others’ successes, seeds of envy are often sown into our hearts. In fact, studies show that people who spend a lot of time on social media have higher rates of depression.[6] This is not just a problem in recent times, it was a problem in the early church. In 2 Corinthians 10:12b, Paul said this about the self-proclaimed teachers in those congregations, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 

 

Worldly wisdom commonly leads to comparing, resulting in depression and discouragement for some, and leading others to pride and judgmentalism. This worldly wisdom is not wisdom at all; it is fleshly, foolishness. It leads people to constantly try to outdo each other by the schools they go to, the cars they drive, where they live, and what they accomplish. It even leads to stepping over and harming others to get what one wants. It’s this harsh and destructive envy, produced by worldly wisdom, that causes fights and wars amongst friends, family, communities, and nations. We must be careful that this demonic wisdom is not in us.  

2. Worldly wisdom is characterized by selfish ambition (v. 14).

 

The Greek word for “selfish ambition” was associated with those who sought political office or positions of influence and power. It is characterized by people who want personal fulfilment and gratification at any cost, even it means hurting others in the process.[7] No doubt, this began in the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit to be “like God.” It was manifest when the people building the Tower of Babel disobeyed God by choosing to not “fill” the earth (cf. Gen 9:1) but instead to stay in one place and make their names great (Gen 11:4). This is the ethos in humanity today that often guides every decision: “What’s in it for me?” people selfishly ask. The career they choose, who they associate with, who they marry, the political party they vote for are all often guided by self-centered motives, instead of God-centered and others-centered motives.

 

In Philippians 2:3-5, Paul challenged the Philippians who were struggling with selfish attitudes and the discord that came from them by saying this:

 

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had

 

Christ did not come to the earth for his benefit, he came to serve God and others. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This selfless attitude, produced by godly wisdom, should guide believers. In a world driven by selfishness, we should be driven to seek the good of others over ourselves, even as our Savior did.

 

3. Worldly wisdom is characterized by deception (v. 14).

 

James said, “do not boast and tell lies against the truth.” This can also be translated, “do not boast about it or ‘deny the truth’” (NIV).

 

Interpretation Question: What does “tell lies against the truth” or “deny the truth” refer to?

 

  • Some believe lying against the truth or denying the truth simply means that these people had never truly accepted the truth of the gospel and therefore were not saved.[8]

 

James 1:18 says that God gave us birth through the “truth,” in referring to the gospel. Also, James 5:19-20 says,

 

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

In James 5:19, “truth” seems to refer to the gospel as well, since not wandering from it would save a person’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

 

If James is referring to the gospel in James 3:14, then he is basically saying that those guided by worldly wisdom are deceived about their faith. It’s not real. They are lying against the truth by proclaiming to be a follower of Christ but living for the world. James will explicitly say this in James 4:4, when he says, “friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.” There is no in-between (cf. 1 John 2:15).

 

  • However, others believe James is simply saying that those who profess to be wise are deceived about what true wisdom is.

 

Maybe, they were saying that their selfish, party spirit was of God, as they boasted in their doctrine or wealth. They didn’t understand that the fruits of godly wisdom are not envy and selfishness but humility and selflessness. They were denying the truth about what true wisdom is by professing to be wise but living like fools.

 

Either way, those who live by the world’s wisdom are deceived. They think they are living wisely, when, in fact, they are not. James 3:15 says the source of this wisdom is the earth not heaven, it is natural coming from the flesh not the Spirit, and ultimately it is demonic. Satan is the ruler of this world, and he uses this evil system and its ways to lead people away from God and his purposes for their lives. The world and those who live by its principles are deceived.

 

4. Worldly wisdom leads to disorder and evil practice (v. 16)

 

James says the fruit of envy and selfish ambition are “disorder and every evil practice.” He gives broad categories for all types of evil. As detailed by John MacArthur, they at least include: “anger; bitterness; resentment; lawsuits; divorce; racial, ethnic, social, and economic divisions; and a host of other personal and social disorders. They also include the absence of love, intimacy, trust, fellowship, and harmony.”[9]

 

James essentially challenges these Jewish brothers and sisters to look around at their lives and their congregations to consider the fruit. Envy, selfish ambition, disorder, and evil are not of God. Paul said the same thing to the Corinthian Christians who were having chaotic worship services: “for God is not characterized by disorder but by peace” (1 Cor 14:33). Likewise, the division and evil amongst these Jewish Christians should have made it clear that they were not being guided by God but the world. As mentioned, some in the churches had even committed murder (Jam 4:2)—every evil practice was surely manifesting amongst them.

 

Unfortunately, the evil that worldly wisdom produces is often in our churches as well—pushing believers and unbelievers away from them. The fruits of worldly wisdom are unmistakably, destructive.

 

Application Question: How have you seen or experienced the results of worldly wisdom in the church (envy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every evil practice)? How have the evil results of worldly wisdom affected the witness of the church—both to the world and other believers? Why is it so common for believers and churches to demonstrate much of these negative fruits?

 

Growing in God’s Wisdom

 

How do we grow in God’s wisdom, so we won’t have the disastrous fruits of worldly wisdom manifesting in our lives, families, and communities?

 

1. To grow in God’s wisdom, we must first be saved.

 

At salvation, there is a break in allegiance. One goes from following self and the world to following God. This allegiance is not perfect, but it is progressive. There should be a change in the life of a true believer. That’s why John can say, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Also, when we are born again, God gives us wisdom personified in Christ, who resides in us. First Corinthians 1:24 says, “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” First Corinthians 1:30 says, “He [God] is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Also, Colossians 2:2b-3 describes Christ this way, “… in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Certainly, some amongst these Jewish Christians needed to recognize they weren’t living by God’s wisdom at all. There had never been a break from the world in their lives, and they needed to truly begin to follow Christ (cf. Jam 4:7-10). If we have Christ in us, we have God’s wisdom. If Christ is truly our Lord, as we daily seek him, he will guide us. Are we truly following Christ—the wisdom of God?

 

2. To grow in God’s wisdom, we must fear God.

 

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord.” What does it mean to fear the Lord? (1) It means to fear his displeasure, where we don’t want to break God’s heart by practicing sin. (2) It means to fear his discipline, as God promises to discipline is children to help them grow in holiness. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” Fearing God’s spankings will keep believers on right paths. (3) Fearing the Lord also means to stand in awe and reverent worship of God. When we truly know how awesome God is—how special his pleasure and blessing are—we will want to run away from anything that dims our view of his glory. Are we fearing God as we should? It’s the beginning of living a wise life.

 

3. To grow in God’s wisdom, we must study God’s Word.

 

Psalm 119:97-100 says,

 

O how I love your law! All day long I meditate on it. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for I am always aware of them. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your rules. I am more discerning than those older than I, for I observe your precepts.

 

Studying God’s Word makes us wise. When we neglect it, we spiritually impoverish ourselves.

 

4. To grow in God’s wisdom, we must pray.

 

James 1:5 says, “But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.” “Ask” is in the present tense, which means often we’ll have to ask and keep asking. Many of us have been praying for God’s direction for a specific situation for a while. Don’t give up! We have to keep praying, for God gives wisdom to those who continually ask for it. No doubt, part of James’ intention through this section on true wisdom was to confront the Jewish Christians with their need to faithfully pray.

 

5. To grow in God’s wisdom, we must be humble enough to seek it from others and with others.

 

Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Pride leads us to independence—independence from God and others. When we’re prideful, we don’t feel like we need assistance. We can figure things out on our own. But the reality is, God has allowed many people before us to experience what we’re currently going through, so they can offer us his wisdom (cf. 2 Cor 1:3-6). God made his church a body—with hands, feet, eyes, and legs. If we’re independent from the body, we’ll miss much of God’s wisdom to conquer sin, persevere in trials, and grow in kingdom effectiveness.

 

To grow in wisdom, we must be humble. Humble people seek the counsel and prayers of others. Are we allowing God to speak to us through his body? Or are we too independent?

 

Application Question: Which point about growing in God’s wisdom stood out most to you and why? How is God challenging you to grow in wisdom and live it out? What members of God’s body do you regularly consult in order to help discern God’s wisdom for your life and others’?

 

Conclusion

 

The believers that James wrote to proclaimed to be living by God’s wisdom, but in reality, many were living by worldly wisdom. They were envious of others and totally focused on their own success. This caused great discord and evil in their personal lives and in their communities. Unfortunately, it appears that the spiritual leaders were the prime culprits of this secular wisdom, even as the Pharisees were before them. This led to it spreading throughout their spiritual communities like a cancer. James with pastoral care and precision tries root out the disease before it destroys the flock. He essentially says, we can’t live by God’s wisdom and the world’s wisdom. We must choose. The wisdom guiding us speaks to us about our faith—whether it is genuine or false. It reveals who is Lord of our life, God or the world. Likewise, as we consider the fruits of these two wisdoms, we must ask ourselves, “What wisdom are we living by—God’s or the world’s?”

 

 

Prayer Prompts

 

  • Pray for God to deliver us and our communities from worldly wisdom and its poisonous fruits—bitter envy, selfish ambition, evil, and disorder.

  • Pray for God to fill us with supernatural wisdom to lead impactful lives that sow peace and righteousness into family, friends, and communities.

  • Pray especially for God to give our leaders wisdom to guide his people in peace and righteousness—our pastors, educators, business leaders, and government officials.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Guzik, D. (2013). James (Jas 3:13). Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.

 

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 2). Chicago: Moody Press.

 

[3] Accessed 3/21/20 from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g505

 

[4] Hughes, R. K. (1991). James: faith that works (p. 161). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 171). Chicago: Moody Press.

 

[6] Accessed 3/20/20, from https://childmind.org/article/is-social-media-use-causing-depression/

 

[7] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 171). Chicago: Moody Press.

 

[8] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 172). Chicago: Moody Press.

 

[9] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 175). Chicago: Moody Press.å

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